Iloilo solon faces trial at Sandiganbayan
The Sandiganbayan will proceed with the graft trial of Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas over the construction of Iloilo Press Club (IPC) building when he was mayor in 2003.
In a 14-page resolution dated March 9, the court’s Seventh Division denied Treñas’ motion to dismiss the case on the ground of inordinate delay in the Ombudsman’s investigation.
The antigraft court said the five years taken by the Ombudsman was “not capricious, oppressive and vexatious to the accused.”
The said period was counted from the filing of complaint of lawyer Raul Gonzales Jr. on Nov. 12, 2012, up to the filing of charges in the Sandiganbayan on Nov. 7, 2017.
The court found the length of the investigation justified by the fact that “correspondences were sent to different government agencies concerned to secure documents, which necessarily consumed a considerable amount of time.”
It noted the Ombudsman could not immediately locate pertinent documents on the P500,000 project, including the accomplishment report and the certificate of completion and acceptance.
The case involved Treñas’ use of Sen. Loren Legarda’s pork barrel allocations in favor of IPC despite it not being an accredited nongovernment organization at the time. —Vince F. Nonato
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