It’s a go for Yap’s trial at Sandiganbayan
The Sandiganbayan will proceed with the trial of former Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, now a Bohol representative, in connection with an employee car plan deemed disadvantageous to the government.
In a 32-page resolution dated Dec. 5, the court’s Sixth Division denied Yap’s motion to quash and affirmed that the elements of valid graft charges were sufficiently stated to warrant a full-blown trial.
The cases stemmed from the approval of a car plan, which, from 2008 to 2009, allowed 10 Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) employees to use the agency’s funds to secure personal loans they obtained from the Philippine National Bank (PNB).
Yap argued that he was absent during the meeting of the PhilRice board of trustees when the car plan was approved.
‘Matters of defense’
But the court said these were “matters of defense” that would have to be proven with evidence and taken up in the trial.
The court also found “no indication that the cases against the accused were instituted for the purpose of harassing them or for some malicious motive.”
Aside from Yap’s motion, also denied were those filed by former PhilRice executive director Ronilo Beronio, incumbent trustees Winston Corvera and Senen Bacani, former trustees Johnifer Batara, Fe Laysa, William Padolina and Rodolfo Undan, and cashier Fe Lumawag.
These officials were charged with one count each of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for allegedly causing undue injury to the government and entering into disadvantageous contracts.
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