MANILA - The Court of Appeals has upheld the junking of administrative charges against dismissed Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay over the allegedly anomalous construction of the P2.28-billion Makati City Hall Building II.
The Ombudsman had dismissed Binay in October 2015 after it found the mayor guilty of administrative charges of grave misconduct and intellectual dishonesty over the construction of the controversial building.
But the Court of Appeals reversed his dismissal in May 2018 on the basis of the condonation doctrine, which considers an elective official’s reelection as the public’s forgiveness of his faults or misconduct.
Binay was elected mayor of Makati in 2010 and reelected in 2013. Phases IV and V of the project were approved during his first term in office.
The Office of the Ombudsman had appealed this ruling, invoking the Supreme Court’s abandonment of the condonation doctrine in 2015.
But the CA stood by its earlier decision, saying the new SC ruling abandoning the condonation doctrine should apply prospectively or after it was promulgated in November 2015.
This means Binay may still benefit from the doctrine.
The CA also rejected the Ombudsman’s contention that Binay should still be held liable for signing disbursement vouchers in 2013 after his reelection because these “pertained to payment of services contracted during his prior term.”
“As long as the contract was entered into during a prior term, acts which were done to implement the same, even if done during a succeeding term, do not negate the application of the condonation doctrine in favor of the elective official,” it said.
Binay is running against his sister Abigail for mayor of Makati.