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Andaya appeals Sandiganbayan decision.

By Czarina Nicole Ong

Former Budget and Management Secretary and current Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. has asked the Sandiganbayan Third Division to reconsider its ruling junking his omnibus motion for bill of particulars and to defer arraignment.

Andaya has been slapped with 97 violations of Section 3(e) of Republic.Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and another 97 violations of Article 217 in relation to Article 171(2) and 48 of the Revised Penal Code due to his involvement in the P900-million Malampaya fund scam from 2009 to 2010.

Andaya prayed in his motion that the prosecution be directed to submit a bill of particulars for each Information against him because the charges are "ambiguous, vague and fail to provide the necessary details required by law, procedure and jurisprudence."

A bill of particulars is described as a detailed, formal and written statement of charges or claims by the prosecution.

However, Andaya's request was denied by the Sandiganbayan because they found that the prosecution has "sufficiently apprise the accused of the cause and nature of the accusations against them."

Andaya stated in his motion for reconsideration that the anti-graft court needs to take a "second look" at his omnibus motion because it was treated as a motion to quash.

"This Honorable Court's assailed resolution failed to address accused Andaya's arguments that he needs the particulars of the omnibus motion to enable him to properly prepare his defenses, to prepare for trial and avoid surprises thereat as well as, among others, to compel the prosecution to observe limitations in offering evidence," the MR read.

He argued that he is rendered unable to properly prepare his defenses. As a result, the prosecution is given the opportunity to "unduly surprise accused Andaya at trial."

Even if the Information against him sufficiently alleged the nature and cause of the accusations against him, Andaya argued that this cannot defeat his right to request for a bill of particulars in order to adequately prepare his defenses for trial and set limitations to the prosecution's right to offer evidence "so as to preclude unfair surprises."

"Doubts should be resolved in favor of granting the bill of particulars to give full meaning to the accused's constitutionally guaranteed rights," he said. "More importantly. plain justice demands and the law requires no less that defendants must know what the complaint against them is all about."

Back in 2009, it was agreed that P900 million from the special Malampaya fund was to be used to help farmers who were affected by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. However, the funds were somehow diverted to the fake nongovernment organizations (NGOs) headed by Janet Lim Napoles.

Andaya reportedly approved the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR's) fund request and signed the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) and Notice of Cash Allocation requested by Pangandaman even before checking with the Department of Budget and Management's budget and management bureau.

On the other hand, Napoles was accused of using her NGOs to implement ghost projects. Her children, brother and former bodyguard helped her scam by forging signatures and fabricating documents.

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(photo from House of Representatives website)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Sep 3, 2018
Words:525
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