Speed up hearings, Razon asks court
MANILA, Philippines—Former Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Avelino Razon Jr. and his co-accused who were arrested on graft and malversation charges have asked the Sandiganbayan to speed up resolution of their bail petitions by compelling state prosecutors to present only the relevant witnesses and documents against them.
A five-page manifestation was filed in the antigraft court’s Fourth Division by Razon, Police Chief Supt (ret.) Emmanuel Ojeda, Senior Supt. (ret.) Reuel Leverne Labrado and nonuniformed personnel Alex Barrameda, Nancy Basallo, Patricia Enaje and Maria Teresa Narcise blaming prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman for the inordinate delay in their petition by presenting so many witnesses, some of whom were not relevant to the bail petition.
Petition for bail
The prosecution has presented five of the 71 witnesses it listed in its compliance in the case dated Oct. 1, 2013.
“Parenthetically, this is a petition for bail and all of the above named accused are entitled to a speedy trial,” said defense counsel Maria Nympha Mandagan in the motion.
She said the prosecution must limit and focus only on the witnesses and documentary proof that tend to show that the evidence of guilt was strong.
“It appears, too, that the prosecution intends to keep accused-petitioners in detention for a very long period,” she said.
The motion said a delay in the proceedings could not only give rise to a denial of justice but could also work undue vexation and oppression upon the accused and the others involved, from the government to offended private parties.
Razon has maintained his innocence before Sandiganbayan Justices Alex Quiroz, Maria Cristina Cornejo and Oscar Herrera Jr.
He has posted bail and pleaded not guilty to four counts of graft, but is still being detained because of the malversation case in connection with the alleged fictitious repair and maintenance of 28 V-150 PNP light armored vehicles worth P358.58 million in 2007 and 2008. There are 32 others accused in the cases.
Mandagan said Razon was not a flight risk as he was on medication for diabetes, had surrendered his passport to the court, had his family in the Philippines and believed in the criminal justice system.
The cases, filed by the Ombudsman on July 16, alleged conspiracy among the respondents.
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