News Briefs: Sandigan denies JV coaccused’s bid to be deemed a minor | Inquirer News

News Briefs: Sandigan denies JV coaccused’s bid to be deemed a minor

/ 12:30 AM January 31, 2017

The Sandiganbayan denied the motion of former San Juan City councilor Joseph Christopher Torralba invoking his age in asking not to be tried for technical malversation over the alleged misuse of calamity funds to buy firearms.

In a resolution dated Jan. 24, the court’s Sixth Division rejected Torralba’s argument that he should not be subjected to formal court proceedings because he was only 17 years old when the city council allegedly authorized then-Mayor Joseph Victor Ejercito to use the calamity funds in 2008.

The court said Torralba could no longer be considered a child for purposes of applying the benefits of the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act.


It said he was already 23 years old when the Office of the Ombudsman made “initial contact” with him on Dec. 11, 2014, when he received the order to file a counter-affidavit before the prosecutor. —Vince F. Nonato


2 men transporting endangered marine species nabbed

The Philippine Coast Guard arrested two men for transporting over 100 kilos of dried, endangered marine species in Masbate over the weekend.

Erwin Laurio and Joseph Bajar of Mobo, Masbate, were apprehended after they were caught carrying dried marine species during a pre-departure inspection at the Masbate Port last Saturday.

The two men were abroad a motor banca, “Phoenix-2,” which was bound for Pilar, Sorsogon.

Recovered from their possession were: 52 kilograms of alligator pipefish, 33.5 kilograms of sea cucumber, 30 kilograms of sharks fin and four kilograms of clam.

The two men are now under the custody of Coast Guard Station Masbate for violating Republic Act No. 10654 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. —Julie M. Aurelio


Quezon prosecutor charged for ‘refusing’ to file court case

A Quezon provincial prosecutor was charged before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly failing to do his duty to bring a reckless imprudence case to court.

The Ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor charged Provincial Prosecutor Dione Bustonera with violating Section 208 of the Revised Penal Code, which criminalizes prosecution negligence.

Bustonera allegedly refused to perform his statutory duty to file the information against a certain Jovencio Trinidad in February 2013, according to the charge sheet signed by Assistant Special Prosecutor Joan Paulette Nuñez.

This was despite the Feb. 4, 2013, order of Regional Prosecutor Ernesto Mendoza directing him to hale Trinidad to the court for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide and serious physical injuries and damage to property. The charge sheet recommended that bail be set at P6,000. —Vince F. Nonato

Bong Revilla  slams prosecution delays in plunder case

Detained former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. has expressed frustration over delays in his plunder and graft cases in connection with the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam. In a statement, Revilla lamented the prosecution’s move to ask for four more days in the pre-trial conference of the graft cases.

The pre-trial conference is where the prosecution and defense mark their evidence and stipulate agreed-upon facts.

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“This will result to even more delays,” Revilla said of the extension being sought. Revilla urged the Sandiganbayan First Division to “look through the dilatory tactics of the prosecution panel and no longer allow any more delays.” —Vince F. Nonato

TAGS: San Juan City, Sandiganbayan

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