Court junks Herbert Bautista’s bid to dismiss graft case
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has denied the motion of former Quezon City Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista for the outright dismissal of his graft case over a P32.208-million contract for the procurement of an online occupational permitting and tracking system, saying the issues he raised would be more properly tackled in a full-blown trial.
In a 15-page resolution dated April 26, the antigraft court’s Seventh Division denied Bautista’s omnibus motion seeking to quash or dismiss the graft case pending against him with prejudice.
It said that after examining his motion, it found that the issues he raised could not be considered in evaluating the sufficiency of his case “because the same largely pertain to extrinsic matters or evidence aliunde.”
“They do not only highlight factual allegations that require evidence presentation but, more so, relegate legal issues that require a conclusion from the court when trial is yet to begin,” read the resolution signed by Associate Justice Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta.
Associate Justices Zaldy Trespeses and Georgina Hidalgo concurred with her. The court also said that all issues raised by the actor-turned-politician would be more properly tackled in a full-blown trial.
Bautista earlier denied that he was part of any conspiracy to commit graft and said the alleged conspiracy “[could not] be established” by his entering into a contract.
He also argued in his motion that the facts laid down against him did not constitute an offense and [that] his indictment “[was] solely anchored on the allegation that he entered into a contract” with Geodata Solutions Inc.