Printer Friendly

Sandigan denies Gwen's bid to dismiss graft cases.

The Sandiganbayan Special Second Division has denied Cebu's 3rd District Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia's plea for the dismissal of her criminal cases.

In a 12-page decision, the anti-graft court said Garcia's argument in her motion to dismiss 'lacks merit.'

The Office of Ombudsman on July 2012 charged Garcia before the Sandiganbayan with two counts of graft and one count of illegal use of public funds over her purchase of a land for a housing project that was later found to be mostly under water.

Citing inordinate delay, Garcia asked the anti-graft court to drop the Ombudsman's cases against her.

According to Garcia, it took two years for the Ombudsman to conduct the investigation against her and five more years of trial still pose uncertainty on its conclusion.

Garcia said the delay has 'caused her and her family irreparable and unquantifiable damage.'

She further said the prosecution failed to provide any excuse to explain the 'interminable delays.'

But the prosecution argued that delays should be blamed on Garcia's camp for 'vigorously opposing' their motion to set the cases for further proceedings. The prosecutors added Garcia's camp even went to ask the Supreme Court to stop the Sandiganbayan proceedings on her cases.

The cases against Garcia were filed before the Sandiganbayan on July 19, 2012. She was arraigned on March 22, 2013 but the cases' pre-trial conference was held only on February 2, 2016, the court said affirming Garcia's narration.

'However, conspicuously absent from Garcia's account are the intervening motions which she filed before and after her arraignment,' the court said.

The motions that Garcia filed before her arraignment were:

Motion for leave to file motion for reconsideration with the Office of the Ombudsman with Motion for suspension of proceedings;

Motion to defer arraignment filed March 4, 2013. The opposition was filed March 8, 2013 and denial of the motion was issued on March 19, 2013; and

Motion for reconsideration.

Meanwhile, the motions that Garcia filed after her arraignment were:

Motion to Quash filed May 21, 2013. The prosecution submitted a comment on June 6, 2013 while Garcia filed a reply on July 1, 2013. The resolution denying the motion was issued September 6, 2013.

Motion for reconsideration;

Comment/Opposition with motion to expunge prosecution's amended pre-trial brief;

Motion for reconsideration;

Motion to defer pre-trial proceedings for the protection of the constitutional rights of the accused; and

Motion for reconsideration.

Reception of evidence from the prosecution started June 21, 2016 up to November 23, 2017, the court said.

'As may be observed, there is no unreasonable lull in the movement of the cases. If there is delay, the same may be reasonably attributed to the ordinary processes of justices,' the court pointed out.

'By filing these series of motions and motions for reconsiderations from an adverse resolution, accused Garcia should have reasonable expectation that the proceedings would naturally elongate for due process requires that the other side be given time to respond and the Court would similarly consume time to study the submissions before it,' the court added.

The initial complaints against Garcia were filed in 2010 for the purchase of Balili properties, which were apparently submerged in water.

Associate Justices Lorifel Pahimna and Efren De La Cruz, and the Second Division's Chairperson Oscar Herrera Jr. affirmed the decision to reject Garcia's motion for the dismissal of her cases, while Associate Justices Michael Frederick Musngi and Geraldine Faith Econg issued their respective dissenting opinions on the matter.
COPYRIGHT 2018 Asianet-Pakistan
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2018 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Nov 20, 2018
Previous Article:House seeks extension of availability of funds in 2018 budget.
Next Article:House okays bill on regulation, organization of Islamic banks.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |