Former Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Sr. appealed to the Sandiganbayan to “modify” his conditional arraignment to be allowed to travel to Israel for a pilgrimage on May 15 to 29. The Binay camp assures the court that such arraignment could not prejudice the legal remedies available upon his return.
Youtube video from; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: The Sandiganbayan has required former Vice President Jejomar Binay to be conditionally arraigned for his graft cases but this was postponed.
In the Sandiganbayan Third Division hearing, theBinay’s lawyer submitted a manifestation before the anti-graft court to request his conditional arraignment to be nullified once he returns to the Philippines from Israel.
Legally, an accused must be conditionally arraigned before allowing him to travel abroad. But Binay’s lawyer, Joseph Castillo, said that the purpose of their manifestation is to assure that no prejudice on the other legal remedies shall happen upon his coming back like filing a motion to quash.
Motion to Quash
It is noted that a motion to quash, or a motion to dismiss the case, can only be filed before an arraignment. Once arraigned, the accused can no longer be allowed to seek the dismissal of the case through this legal remedy.
Third Division chairperson Associate Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, the Sandiganbayan’s top magistrate, asked Mr. Castillo to give an “extraordinary reason” for the court to grant his plea. He explained that all the seven divisions of the court are in one with similar conditions. It has also been recognized by the Supreme Court. Mr. Castillo said that Mr. Binay’s case is different as the preliminary investigation on him occurred when he was the vice-president, which is an impeachable position. The court, for now, orders Binay’s counsel to file a formal motion to modify the conditional arraignment. This must be not later than Friday to allow three working days for the prosecution to response.