Genuino, Syjuco to stand trial, sandigan rules
The Sandiganbayan has found probable cause to proceed with the trials of former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. chair Efraim Genuino and former Iloilo 2nd Dist. Rep. Judy Syjuco for their respective perjury and malversation cases.
In a 21-page resolution, the court’s Third Division said Genuino challenged the validity of the indictment and raised arguments which are best threshed out in a full-blown trial.
Genuino is accused of failing to disclose four lots in Makati City, Muntinlupa City, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna and Los Baños, Laguna, in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth from 2002 to 2005.
He claimed that the allegedly undeclared properties were actually reflected in the SALNs filed at the Malacañang Records Office. But the court did not pass upon this issue for now.
The court also disagreed with his claim that the Ombudsman violated his right to the speedy disposition of his case by taking four years to finish preliminary investigation and file the charges.
It found the period justified because Genuino was originally accused of falsification, not perjury, when the complaint was first filed with the Ombudsman. There was also no showing that the delay was deliberate.
Because of this, the court set his arraignment on April 25, 1:30 p.m.
Separately, the Third Division also held that there was probable cause to proceed with the case of Syjuco, who, like Genuino, had already posted bail before an arrest warrant could be issued.
The court issued arrest warrants against Syjuco’s coaccused: Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chair Domingo Reyes, Jr.; BAC vice chair Elmer Soneja; BAC members Director Rebecca Cacatian, Director Ildefonso Patdu Jr., Legal Officer Geronimo Quintos and Director Venancio Santidad; DOTC Inspector Marcelo Desiderio Jr.; DOTC Technical Inspector Danilo Dela Rosa; storekeeper Antonio Cruz; and West Island Beverages Distributor (West Island) owner Domingo Samuel Jonathan Ng.
Preliminary evidence by the prosecution had showed that the accused officials were “probably guilty” of malversation through falsification and graft.
Thus, the court said they should be tried for the alleged “ghost” purchase of 1,582 units of Nokia 1100 cell phones in 2004 worth P6.25 million, or P3,950 each.
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