By Czarina Nicole Ong
Former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay has elevated her concerns in her graft and malversation case before the Sandiganbayan Third Division to the Supreme Court as she filed a petition for certiorari.
A petition for certiorari gives a higher court the jurisdiction to review a decision of a lower court. In her petition, Binay questioned the Sandiganbayan’s resolution dated September 7, 2018 admitting all exhibits from the Office of the Special Prosecutor into evidence and the resolution dated October 8, 2018 denying her motion for reconsideration.
Binay said the evidence is inadmissible since it violated the Best Evidence Rule and it lacked proper authentication. By allowing it, Binay said the Sandiganbayan acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
“From the records therefore, it is undisputed that the original copies of the foregoing documents were never presented in court during trial, neither did the prosecution lay the basis for the presentation and admission of secondary evidence,” her petition read.
Binay even highlighted one documentary evidence — a report presented by former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado. She said he was not the legal custodian of the said document, and he even admitted that it was merely turned over to him by someone who has not been established to be the legal custodian of the document.
“Furthermore, it is well-settled that before a purported public document may be admitted, the same must be authenticated or proof of its identity must be given by the legal custodian of the said record, or at the very least by a witness who is conversant with the facts in issue,” the petition read.
Binay was charged in connection with the anomalous purchase of P45 million worth of hospital beds and sterilizers for the Ospital ng Makati (OsMak) back in 2001.
She was slapped with two counts each of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, also known as Malversation of Public Funds.