Graft case vs Ex-PNU exec to proceed after information found sufficient
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan will start with the proceedings on the graft case against a former Philippine Normal University (PNU) official after saying that the information filed were sufficient.
In a resolution from the Fifth Division on June 10, the motion for bill of particulars filed by ex-PNU budget officer Florence Allejos last May 9 was denied for lack of merit, because the charges’ statement of facts pertains to her involvement in the alleged conspiracy between her and other PNU officials.
A motion of bill of particulars is filed by an accused to allow him or her to prepare for trial and to specify defects in the criminal charge. In her motion, Allejos said that the information was ‘insufficient’, asking what specific role she played in the alleged graft incident.
With the bill of particulars out of the way, the court has set the arraignment of Allejos on June 21, 2019, at 8:30 a.m inside the Fifth Division courtroom.
Allejos, along with former PNU President Ester Ogena, former Vice President for Administration Rebecca Corpuz Nueva España, and Financial Management Service Director Joseph Luceño are facing graft complaints for supposedly giving undue advantages to Universal News Ltd. by entering into a P1.095 million advertising contract even if the university did not have the budget for it.
The payment was allegedly soured illegally from the Special Trust Fund.
Sandiganbayan explained that conspiracy is not a crime by itself, but only a method of committing the crime.
“Therefore, there is no necessity for reciting its particulars in the Information because conspiracy is not the gravamen of the offense charged,” the resolution penned by Associate Justice Maryann Corpus-Mañalac said.
“Nonetheless, the Information clearly avers a statement of the facts pertaining to accused Allejos’ participation in the alleged conspiracy, being the Budget Office Head of the state-funded Philippine Normal University,” it added.
Aside from that, the anti-graft court pointed out that an information only needs to ‘state the facts’ about the circumstances of the offense.
“To reiterate, an Information only needs to state the ultimate facts constituting the offense. The character of the crime is determined not by the specification of the provision of the law alleged to have been violated, they being conclusions of law, but by the recital therein of the ultimate facts and circumstances,” the court said. (Editor: Julie Espinosa)
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