MANILA, Philippines - Citing the multiple criminal cases they are facing involving some P2.2 billion in government funds, the Office of the Ombudsman has asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the petition of former vice president Jejomar Binay and his son, former Makati mayor Erwin “Junjun”Binay Jr., to travel to Israel for 15 days for a pilgrimage.
“They ought to be considered as flight risk. Not only are they traveling with immediate family members, the accused failed to show personal and professional reasons that will compel them to return to the country,”ombudsman prosecutors said in a four-page petition filed before the anti-graft court’s Third Division.
The Binays are facing charges of graft, malversation and falsification of public documents in connection with the allegedly overpriced construction of the Makati parking building.
In separate motions filed last week, the father and son sought the court’s permission to go to Israel from May 15 to 29 for a pilgrimage.
The former vice president said he would be joined by his wife Elenita, their children, grandchildren and in-laws during the pilgrimage.
The younger Binay withdrew his travel request yesterday, citing “pressing matters” concerning his children that required his presence.
Elenita, who is also facing graft and malversation cases over the allegedly anomalous purchase of hospital equipment for the Ospital ng Makati during her term as mayor, has yet to file a similar motion.
The Sandiganbayan has issued hold-departure orders against the three Binays.