MANILA, Philippines – Former Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, former Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr., have asked the anti-graft court to allow them to travel overseas for a religious journey to the Holy Land.
In two separate motions, the Binays asked the Sandigabayan Third Division to permit them to go to Israel from May 15 to 29, 2017 for a pilgrimage that would be led by Fr. Francis Gustilo, which they said would be the last for the Salesian priest.
Gustilo is the “spiritual facilitator” of the Binay family in their regular bible meetings every Tuesday in Don Bosco, Makati City.
“It is very important to note that Movant is almost 75 years old and a family man. Movant believes that this pilgrimage to the Holy Land is an exceptional case for a devout Catholic,” the former Vice President said in his motion.
The Office of the Ombudsman filed charges on July 14, 2016 against the elder Binay before the Sandiganbayan.
The former Vice President was accused of committing graft, falsification of documents, and violation of the Government Procurement Act in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Paking Building II. He was the mayor of the city when the project worth P2.28 billion was on its first three of six phases of construction.
The case against Junjun involving the same project was filed by the Ombudsman’s office before the anti-graft court in February 2016.
Binay Jr. and other respondents were accused by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales of “conspiracy” in giving unwarranted benefits and preference to Hilmarc’s Construction Company by awarding to the firm the contracts for parking building project.
The Ombudsman alleged that the implementation of the project took place from 2007 to 2013 despite the absence of approved design standards, contract plans, agency cost estimates, detailed engineering and programs of work, among others.