Binay, son post P192k bail for Makati Science High School Bldg. charges

Published April 2, 2018, 5:46 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Czarina Nicole Ong

Former Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay and his son, former Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., today posted bail for their graft and falsification charges before the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division in relation to the P1.3-billion Makati Science High School building.

Junjun Binay
Junjun Binay

They each posted P192,000 each for four graft charges at P30,000 each and P24,000 for three falsification charges. Their posting of bail came even before the Fifth Division issued a resolution finding probable cause to proceed with the trial of their case.

The Binays were slapped with violations of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code due to their involvement in the reportedly anomalous procurement of several items for the Makati Science High School building.

Binay Sr. reportedly entered into a P17.37-million Architectural & Engineering (A&E) consultancy services contract with Infiniti Architectural Works for the design of the building back in September 2007.

However, Ombudsman investigators noted several irregularities in the selection of the A&E consultancy services. One of these is the noncompliance with the required posting of the invitation to bid, and it was “unjustified” for the local officials to resort to negotiated procurement instead of competitive bidding.

As for the bid negotiations, submission and opening of bids, there were also several “misrepresentations” made.

The Binays argued that seven companies were invited to submit proposals on September 18, 2007. But after the meeting, the bids and awards committee (BAC) decided it would be best to award the contract to Infiniti, which Binay Sr. did the next day.

But two of the architectural firms that reportedly attended the negotiation conference denied ever attending the meeting and submitting proposals.

After the A&E portion of the project, the accused local officials were accused by the Ombudsman of having “rigged” the procurement processes for the building’s construction.

These are divided into six phases for the years 2008 to 2013, and it was Himarc’s Construction that won the total construction deal at P1.33 billion net cost.

Questions were raised since the chief operating officer of JBros Construction submitted an affidavit “disowning the signatures appearing above the name on the bid documents” he reportedly submitted.

At the same time, the publications of the invitation to bid in phases 1, 2, 4, and 5 in Balita newspaper were found to be fake.

“Hilmarc’s was placed on higher footing than any potential bidders who, by lack of publication of the [invitation] in newspapers of general circulation and by the limited time of posting in the PhilGEPS, City’s website or conspicuous places, were deprived of sufficient chance to participate in the biddings,” the Ombudsman resolution read.

“In fact, no other bidder participated in the public biddings for phases 2, 4, 5 and 6,” it added.

Binay Sr. evaded the media while he posted bail around lunch time today, and only maintained “wala akong kasalanan (I have no fault)” as he walked briskly toward the fire exit. His son, Binay Jr., also shied away from the media.