By Edu Punay, June 5 2019; Philippine Star

Image Credit to Philippine Star

NILA, Philippines — The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the order of the Office of the Ombudsman in 2017 dismissing former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. from service and perpetually disqualifying him from holding public office.

The administrative case involves the P1.3-billion Makati Science High School (MSHS) building.

In an 88-page decision promulgated last May 28, the 8th division of the appellate court affirmed the Ombudsman’s finding of guilt against Binay in the administrative cases of serious dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service in connection with “glaring irregularities” that surrounded the construction of phase 6 of the project.

It agreed with the Ombudsman that fraudulent “invitations to bid” were made to shut out other interested companies and rig the bidding in favor of preferred contractor Hilmarc Construction Corp. (HCC).

“Republic Act 9184 requires that, in line with the principle of transparency and competitiveness, all invitations to bid for contracts under competitive bidding shall be advertised by the procuring entity in such manner and for such length of time as may be necessary under the circumstances, in order to ensure the widest possible dissemination thereof,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Ronaldo Roberto Martin.

The CA agreed with the anti-graft office that Binay should be faulted for absence of a pre-procurement conference, non-compliance with advertisement and posting requirements, and undue haste in completing the procurement process even in the absence of detailed engineering plans.