WORLD

Philippine ex-vice president, son indicted for graft

PHILIPPINE EX-VICE PRESIDENT, SON INDICTED FOR GRAFT

The Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday ordered graft and document falsification charges against former Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son for a PHP1.3 billion ($25.81 million) school construction project in Manila.

In a statement, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, announced the indictment of four counts under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and three counts of falsification of public documents against the former officials had been approved under two separate resolutions on Aug. 1.

The charges against the elder Binay are for his involvement with the start of the Makati Science High School Building project and against Jejomar Binay Jr., a former mayor of Makati, for his role in the latter part of the project.

According to the resolution, the project "did not provide for a timeline or period within which the contractor must complete its services".

It also noted irregularities in the procurement process, such as the unjustified resort to negotiated procurement instead of competitive bidding, non-compliance with the required posting of the invitation to bid and misrepresentations on the alleged bid negotiations, submission and opening of bids.

The 10-story building project in 2007 cost the government PHP1.3 billion, which was allegedly overpriced by over PHP800 million ($15.88 million).

In a statement, the Binays expressed confidence they would be able to clear their names and dispute "the baseless charges of a patently biased Ombudsman".

The elder Binay was among candidates for president who lost to Rodrigo Duterte in the May 2016 elections.

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