Anti-graft court remands case over improper notices | Inquirer News

Anti-graft court remands case over improper notices

/ 05:23 AM January 28, 2024

Antigraft court remands case over improper notices


MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan’s sixth division has ordered the Office of the Ombudsman to reinvestigate the graft case against a former Misamis Oriental vice governor for its failure to give proper notice about the charges filed against the former official two years ago.

In a resolution promulgated on Friday, the antigraft court granted the motion to conduct reinvestigation and suspend the proceedings for the case against former Vice Gov. Jose Mari Pelaez, the brother of the sitting Vice Gov. Jeremy Pelaez of Misamis Oriental.


It, however, denied his motion to quash the arrest warrant and hold a departure order against Pelaez as the court already found probable cause to order his arrest.


Pelaez, in his motion, argued that his right to due process was “violated” when he was not informed by the Ombudsman of his charges, thereby losing an opportunity to file his counter-affidavit.

Citing records, the Sandiganbayan said that there were multiple attempts to send the notice to Pelaez, but each time they were sent to the wrong address.

“It appears that the Office of the Ombudsman’s Joint Order dated Sept. 13, 2022, directing the accused to answer the charges against him was sent to the Office of the Governor,” the antigraft court said. “But the same was returned because … the accused was no longer the vice governor.”

The notice was then sent to their ancestral house in Medina town, Misamis Oriental, but no one was present to receive it at the time of the delivery, it said.

The order was again delivered to the same address in May last year, but no one was available to receive it, the court noted.

Because of this, “the accused was not able to participate in the preliminary investigation and file his motion for reconsideration.”


The sixth division added, “To afford him due process, he must be allowed to participate in the preliminary investigation to give him the opportunity to explain his side.”

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TAGS: graft case, Jeremy Pelaez, Office of the Ombudsman, Sandiganbayan

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