MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) upheld its ruling reversing the dismissal order against former Makati City mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay in relation to the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II construction.
In a decision that was made public yesterday, the appellate court’s former 10th Division ruled that the Supreme Court’s abandonment of the condonation doctrine in 2015 cannot be retroactively applied to Binay.
The high court abandoned the condonation doctrine, where a government official’s reelection into office extinguishes his or her administrative liability, but it clarified that its application was prospective, or only for future cases.
“The condonation doctrine may still be applied to Binay given the factual circumstances of this case and because the case was filed before the abandonment,” the CA said in its ruling.
“The doctrine applies notwithstanding Binay’s alleged approval of two disbursement vouchers on his second term in 2013, because these pertained to payment of services contracted during his prior term,” it added.
Binay has been charged before the Sandiganbayan for alleged falsification of public documents, graft, and malversation of public funds in connection with the P2.8-billion building construction.
The Ombudsman, in its 2015 decision, dismissed Binay and 20 others because “flagrant anomalies were found to have been committed by Binay, Jr. and the other respondents in the design and construction of the building consisting of six phases.”
The Ombudsman argued that the condonation doctrine could not be applied because the alleged anomalies were committed after his reelection in May 2013, during his second term.
However, the CA reversed the Ombudsman’s ruling last year prompting Ombudsman prosecutors to file a motion for partial reconsideration./PN