IF the case against former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay is not final and is still being appealed, he can run as mayor of Makati, according to Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez.
Jimenez on Friday explained that while a final conviction could bar an individual from running for public office “if there’s any appeal, or if it’s not a final decision, then it won’t fit the criteria for disqualification.”
Jimenez was responding to questions regarding the eligibility of Binay, whose name is included in a Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) list, which names people who have been supposedly disqualified from running for public office.
Binay’s name was included in connection with the construction of the P1.3 billion Makati Science High School building issue.
Binay’s lawyer, Atty. JM Mendoza, confirmed that the case in question was being appealed and could not be used to bar the former Makati m ayor from reclaiming his post.
“The decision of the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the construction of the Makati Science High School building is on appeal and therefore, not final and executory,” said Mendoza.
According to the lawyer, “only a final and executory judgment that carries with it an accessory penalty of disqualification form holding public office operates to disqualify a person from running for public office under Section 40 (b) of the Local Government Code.
“Mayor Junjun Binay is not disqualified from running for public office or from filing a certificate of candidacy for the May 2019 elections. He does not suffer from any of the disqualifications from running for any elective local position as stated under Section 40 of the Local Government Code,” added Binay’s counsel.
Mendoza said any report claiming Binay is disqualified from running “is misleading and inaccurate.”