Sandiganbayan junks former Cebu councilor’s plea to dismiss graft case
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has junked former Cebu City Councilor Gerard Carillo’s motion to quash information that charged him with graft in connection with an anomalous appointment of an aide.
A motion to quash is filed to assail the charge sheet against the accused as defective on several grounds, including lack of jurisdiction over the offense or over the accused, lack of authority of the person who filed the case, and failure to conform to the required form.
The motion was filed before the accused entered his plea.
In its resolution dated December 27, the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division said the lengthy amount of time spent by the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate the case is justified, contrary to Carillo’s claim that his right to speedy disposition of cases was violated.
“There was no violation of the right of accused Carillo to speedy disposition of cases,” Second Division Chairperson Associate Justice Oscar Herrera said in the resolution.
Other members of the Second Divsion — Associate Justices Michael Frederick Musngi, and Lorifel Pahimna — concurred with the decision.
The anti-graft court also noted that the preliminary investigation required more time because Carillo filed a motion for reconsideration.
“From the filing of the complaint on October 9, 2015, an approved Resolution was issued on June 5, 2017 finding probable cause against accused Carillo. That would have terminated the preliminary investigation after only a period of about one year and seven months,” the decision noted.
“However, accused Carillo still filed a motion for reconsideration which necessary required additional time to study and resolve,” it added.
The court also noted that the accused’s right to due process was upheld during the preliminary investigation.
“Here, what is significant is that accused Carillo was fully accorded his right to due process during the preliminary investigation. He was given all the opportunity to submit his counter-affidavit and evidence, and given time to file a motion for reconsideration of the initial resolution finding probable cause against him,” the Second Division said.
“Considering the peculiar circumstances in the proceedings before the Office of the Ombudsman, the Court rules that there was no inordinate delay in the conduct and termination of the preliminary investigation, or any delay that can be characterized as vexatious, capricious, and oppressive.
Carillo allegedly violated Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act after he appointed a certain Michael Abellana as an Administrative Aide III though he was just working then as a cook in a restaurant owned by Carillo’s girlfriend. /ee
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