SC orders Sandiganbayan to reopen P660 million graft case

SC orders Sandiganbayan to reopen P660 million graft case

/ 10:05 PM June 13, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has reopened the graft case regarding the grant of a P660 million behest loan by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to Deltaventures Resources Inc. (DVRI).

Former officials of the DBP and DVRI officials are the ones facing graft cases.

The Ombudsman filed the case before the Sandiganbayan against the then DBP officials for allegedly taking advantage of their position when they conspired with DVRI.


READ: 14 ex-DBP execs seek dismissal of 2 graft raps


The P660 million was purportedly given to DVRI even though it was undercapitalized with only P625 million paid-up capital.

Motions to quash were filed before the Sandiganbayan, and they were granted. Once a motion to quash is granted, the criminal case is dismissed.

In a 20-page decision penned by Associate Justice Antonio Kho, the SC 2nd Division reversed and set aside the Sandiganbayan’s 2014 and 2015 resolutions.

It ordered the anti-graft court to conduct a trial on the merits with dispatch.

In reinstating the case, the SC said full loan payment does not mean it is no longer behest.

READ: Sandigan upholds ruling dismissing graft case against Ongpin over behest loans


The SC pointed out that determining whether the loan is behest in nature or not despite full payment is evidentiary, “and as such, should be considered as a matter of defense.”

“This is because the resolution of this issue goes to the very determination of the existence of the elements of the crime charged against them…Therefore, it is only proper that these criminal cases be reinstated and, thereafter, remanded to the Sandiganbayan for trial on the merits,” the SC said.

However, the cases against Miguel L. Romero, Reynaldo David, and Roberto Ongpin were declared closed and terminated “due to their supervening deaths during the pendency of the criminal proceedings,” said the SC.

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“Under prevailing law and jurisprudence, an accused’s death prior to their final conviction should result in the dismissal of the criminal case against them,” the SC said.

TAGS: DVRI, graft case, Supreme Court

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