By: Czarina Nicole Ong
Former vice president Jejomar Binay Sr. is hoping to join his wife, former Makati mayor Dr. Elenita Binay in her Italian pilgrimage as he sought permission from the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division to travel abroad from September 28 to October 13, 2018.
The Binays hope to join a pilgrimage to the Holy Shrines and go on a cultural tour of the museums during the said dates. They will go to Rome from September 29 to October 5. From September 29 to October 1, they will be staying at the Cenacolo Santa Chiara then from October 1 to 5, they will be billeted at the Marriot Park Hotel.
The Binays will move to Assisi from October 5 to 6 and stay overnight at the Hotel Il Castello. They will then travel to Padova from October 6 to 7 and have another overnight stay at the Hotel Marconi.
Their pilgrimage will move to Venice on October 7 to 8, and they will stay at the Patronato Salesiano Leone XIII. The Binays will be in Turin from October 8 to 10, where they will stay at the Pacific Hotel Fortino.
From October 10 to 11, they will be in Florence at the Salesiani Firenze. Lastly, they will move from Florence to Orvieto from October 11 to 12 and stay at the Hotel Gialletti.
The prosecution filed an opposition and stated that Binay failed to establish whether or not the intended travel is necessary or compelling, since “the reason given is merely for spiritual considerations.”
“The right to travel is not absolute. Their right must yield to certain restrictions, specifically, the pendency of a criminal case. Thus, it is imperative for accused Binay Sr. to show that there exists an urgent necessity for him to be allowed to travel abroad by the Honorable Court,” the opposition read.
The prosecution warned the court that Binay Sr. would be placed beyond their reach should he be allowed to leave the country.
Meanwhile, the Fifth Division has already granted Dr. Binay’s travel motion without any objection from the prosecution.
Dr. Binay was earlier charged with graft before the Fifth Division for reportedly rigging the purchase of office partitions and furniture worth P21.7 million and being partial to Asia Concept International Inc. back in 2000.
Binay Sr. was slapped with four graft and three falsification charges in relation to the reportedly anomalous procurement of several items for the P1.3-billion Makati Science High School building.
Both Binay Sr. and his son Jejomar Erwin Binay, who both served as Makati mayors, were faulted for entering into a P17.37 million contract with Architectural & Engineering (A&E) consultancy services and with Infiniti Architectural Works for the design of the building in September 2007.
They pushed through with the contract despite several irregularities in the selection of the consultancy services.
After the A&E portion of the project, Binay Sr. and his son were accused by the Ombudsman of having “rigged” the procurement processes for the building’s construction.
These procurement was divided into six phases for the years 2008 to 2013, and it was Hilmarc’s Construction that won the total construction deal at P1.33 billion net cost.