Aquino posts bail at Sandigan, almost crossing paths with Binay

Former President Benigno S. Aquino III and former Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER file photo / LYN RILLON

Former President Benigno Aquino III on Friday posted bail before the Sandiganbayan for his graft and usurpation of authority charges over the deadly Mamasapano incident in 2015.

Aquino and former Vice President Jejomar Binay almost saw each other as the two were scheduled to appear before the same Sandiganbayan division to face different charges  on Friday afternoon.

The cases of Aquino, Binay and his son dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, are all handled by the Sandiganbayan Third Division led by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang.

Around 4 p.m., Aquino went to the division’s office to process documents for his temporary liberty, barely a day after he was charged for the ill-fated police operation that claimed the lives of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos.

The Binays, meanwhile, appeared before the same court to be arraigned for their graft and malversation charges over irregularities in the construction of the P2.28-billion Makati City Hall Building II.

Aquino posted bail of P40,000 for the graft charge and P10,000 for the usurpation of authority charge. Aquino was accompanied by his sisters Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Pinky Aquino-Abelleda, and Viel Aquino-Dee, nephew Senator Bam Aquino and other key allies.

The Binays, however, left the building several minutes before Aquino arrived.

The former Chief Executive was accused of conspiring with former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima despite the latter being suspended from office and PNP-SAF chief Getulio Napeñas in implementing Oplan Exodus, which targeted terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan.

The Binays were charged for the construction of the allegedly overpriced parking building.

The construction began in 2007 when the older Binay was still mayor of Makati. It was completed in 2013 during the term of his son. /jpv

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