Lawyer of ex-PNP chief Razon backs out of his cases
MANILA, Philippines—The lead counsel of former Philippine National Police Director General Avelino Razon Jr. in his graft and malversation cases has withdrawn for “ethical reasons.”
In a manifestation and withdrawal of appearance, lawyer Maria Nympha Mandagan informed the Sandiganbayan antigraft court’s Fourth Division of the termination of her legal services and asked that she be relieved of the duties and responsibilities as counsel of Razon.
Mandagan said that Razon, whose petition for bail has not been acted upon by the court, had agreed to be represented by the law office of Poblador Bautista and Reyes. Lawyer Anzen Dee of the law firm will prepare a strategy for Razon’s defense.
Razon has posted bail and pleaded not guilty to four counts of graft, but is still being detained for malversation in connection with the alleged bogus repair and maintenance of 28 police armored vehicles to the tune of P358.58 million in 2007 and 2008.
There are 32 other former top PNP officials and private individuals accused in the cases.
Razon and his coaccused complained to the court that the prosecution was causing an “inordinate delay” in the bail hearing by presenting a long list of witnesses and documents, some of which were not even relevant to the petition.
They noted that the prosecution had so far presented only five of the 71 witnesses it had listed.
The accused further said that a delay in the proceedings would not only give rise to a denial of justice to them but would also work undue vexation and oppression upon them and others involved, from the government to the offended private parties.
In their counter-manifestation, the prosecutors said they were aware of the constitutional provision that states that before conviction, all persons shall be allowed to post bail, except those charged with offenses punishable by life imprisonment or more and when the evidence of guilt is strong.
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