The Court of Appeals has sustained its decision rendered last year exonerating former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. of administrative liabilities over the alleged fraudulent construction of the P2.28-billion Makati City Hall Parking Building II.
In a resolution dated March 18, 2019, the CA’s Former Tenth Division through Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon dismissed the motion for partial reconsideration filed by the Office of the Ombudsman for its failure to raise new arguments that would warrant the reversal of its decision.
The appellate court maintained its ruling the Ombudsman committed error in ordering Binay’s dismissal since the condonation doctrine should have been applied in his case, which states that an erring official is considered to have already been forgiven for acts in his past term once he is reelected.
“While it is true that the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Carpio-Morales was indeed relative to this Court’s issuance of injunctive reliefs and was not about the OMB’s main findings of administrative guilt against Binay Jr. it cannot be negated that the abandonment of the condonation doctrine—declared prospective in application by no less than the Supreme Court—should not be given any retroactive effect as to the prejudice Binay Jr. for the acts he allegedly committed when said doctrine was still in effect and duly recognized,” the CA ruled.
But the appellate court upheld the dismissal order issued by the Ombudsman on the other respondents namely City Legal Officer Pio Kenneth Dasal, City Budget Officer Lorenza Amores, Civil Engineer of the Central Planning Management Office Arnel Cadangan, CPMO chief Line dela Pena, City Legal Officer Giovanni Condes, TechnicalWorking Group officer Rodel Nayve, General Services Department staff Norma Flores Bids and Awards Committee member Ulysses Orienza, CPMO staff Connie Consulta, BAC secretariat Manolito Uyaco and BAC member Gerardo San Gabriel.
In its decision issued last year, the CA nullified the joint decision issued by the Office of the Ombudsman on Sept. 7, 2015 insofar as Binay and several other officials are concerned.
The Ombudsman, in its resolution, found Binay along with 19 other city officials guilty of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct for the irregularities committed for alleged overpricing in the procurement of the architectural design and engineering services and construction of Phases I to V of the Makati City Hall Parking Building.
The Office of the Ombudsman, in the same decision, ordered the dismissal of Binay and his co-accused from service.
The appellate court noted that the alleged irregularities in Phase III to V of the MCHPB which was the basis of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct filed against Binay before the Ombudsman transpired before Binay was elected in 2013.