Sandigan nixes Syjuco appeal to junk pork case
The Sandiganbayan will still pursue the graft trial of former Iloilo Rep. Augusto Syjuco Jr. for the alleged misuse of his pork barrel funds in 2000, rejecting his claim of inordinate delay in the Ombudsman’s investigation.
In a four-page resolution dated Dec. 15, the court’s Special Fifth Division denied Syjuco’s appeal on the Sept. 13 resolution that found no violation of his right to the speedy disposition of his case.
The court reiterated that while it took the Ombudsman more than 10 years to investigate the case, the delay “cannot be characterized as vexatious, capricious, and oppressive” because of the “complexities of the issues.”
The resolution was penned by Associate Justice Maria Theresa V. Mendoza-Arcega and concurred in by Associate Justices Rafael R. Lagos and Reynaldo P. Cruz.
The Ombudsman charged Syjuco with one count each of malversation of public funds and violations of Sections 3(e) and 3(h) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for alleged conflict of interest in the use of P4.3-million Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations.
Not only did the non-government organization Tagipusuon Foundation, Inc., receive funds despite its lack of compliance with procurement rules, prosecutors alleged the NGO served as a conduit for Syjuco to then use the public funds to finance the poultry business of Chickboy Corp., whose business address is located at his residence.
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