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Sandigan affirms raps vs Samar lawmaker.

The Sandiganbayan will proceed with the trial of Samar second district Rep. Milagrosa Tan in connection with the provincial government's alleged anomalous purchase of medicine and dental supplies amounting to P69 million when she was governor.

In a 13-page resolution released yesterday, the anti-graft court's seventh division junked Tan's motion to dismiss the charges for supposed violation of her constitutional right to speedy resolution of cases.

Tan said it took the Office of the Ombudsman more than 10 years to finish its investigation before filing the cases in court.

However, the Sandiganbayan said the ombudsman could not be accused of being slow-paced, noting that the preliminary investigation started only on July 15, 2015.

'The length of time utilized by the ombudsman could not be characterized as vexatious, capricious or oppressive absent any circumstances proving that there was an obvious deviation from the regular procedure in the prosecution of the accused,' the court said.

Tan and four other former and incumbent provincial officials were charged with eight counts of violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and five counts of malversation of public funds last Nov. 24.

Graft probers said the procurement was made despite an increase in the provincial government's inventory of medicine from 2005 to 2007 based on the reports of the Commission on Audit. The COA issued notices of disallowances in August 2007 saying the transactions were 'unnecessary and non-responsive to the exigencies of the service.'

The Sandiganbayan set the arraignment on April 27.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Mar 1, 2018
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