Sandiganbayan: Hearings vs ex-DOST head to continue
MANILA, Philippines — Sandiganbayan has denied the request of former Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary William Padolina to suspend the hearing of his graft cases concerning car loans in 2008.
According to the resolution from the Sixth Division last March 28, the Court has not received any temporary restraining order (TRO) or writ of preliminary injunction from the Supreme Court, which can stop the proceedings — rendering Padolina’s motion denied for lack of merit.
Padolina, in his stint as a member of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) Board of Trustees, and co-accused former Agriculture Secretary and Bohol 3rd District Rep. Arthur Yap allegedly committed graft when they entered into car loans worth P15.78 million for PhilRice employees, to the disadvantage of the government.
“It should be noted at the onset that while accused Padolina had instituted a Petition for Certiorari, this Court has not received any Temporary Restraining Order or Writ of Preliminary Injunction issued by the Supreme Court,” the seven-page document written by Division chair Associate Justice Sarah Jane Fernandez said.
“Clearly, without any TRO or writ of preliminary injunction ordering this Court to suspend from proceeding, the mere filing or pendency of the special civil actions for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition cannot interrupt the proceedings in this case,” the ruling added.
In his motion, Padolina claimed that the Sandiganbayan trial should be stopped on grounds of judicial courtesy to a higher court — which is the Supreme Court.
“Accused Padolina argues that his Petition for Certiorari […] warrants the suspension of the proceedings in this case. In brief, accused Padolina invokes: (1) the principle of judicial courtesy; and (2) the possible confusion and disruption of the proceedings on account of pending motions involving his co-accused,”
However, the anti-graft court said that the circumstances were not present in Padolina’s case.
“Contrary to accused Padolina’s position, however, these circumstances are not present in this case,” the Sandiganbayan said.
“The present case is different. The continuation by this Court with the proceedings of the case will not preempt the Supreme Court in its resolution of the Petition for Certiorari,” the court added. /atm
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