Sandi­gan­bayan junks Vi­tang­col’s bid to dis­miss graft cases

Manila Times - - NEWS - REINA TO­LENTINO

THE Sandi­gan­bayan’s Sixth Divi­sion has thumbed down for­mer Metro Rail Tran­sit Line 3 (MRT 3rd’s plea to dis­miss graft charges

In a res­o­lu­tion, the court de­nied the

“The ar­raign­ment of the ac­cused shall pro­ceed as pre­vi­ously sched­uled morn­ing,” it ruled.

of Sec­tion 3(b) of Repub­lic Act (RA) 3019 (Anti-Graft and Cor­rupt Prac­tices Act) in two sep­a­rate charge - buds­man last Novem­ber.

One case—dock­eted as SB-16- - leged ex­tor­tion try on rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Czech com­pany Inekon Group in con­nec­tion with the con­tract or trans­ac­tion for the sup­ply of while the other—dock­eted as SB16-CRM-1208—stemmed from an al­leged re­quest for the Inekon rep­re­sen­ta­tives to forge a joint ven­ture deal with a group in con­nec­tion with the con­tract or trans­ac­tion for the train system’s main­te­nance ser­vice.

Last month, the anti-graft court’s - raign­ment to March 16 pend­ing res­o­lu­tion of his mo­tion to quash wherein he ar­gued that the cases fall un­der the Re­gional Trial Court’s ju­ris­dic­tion be­cause th­ese do not al­lege bribery or any in­jury to the gov­ern­ment.

He cited RA 10660, which amended Pres­i­den­tial De­cree 1606 and which took ef­fect on May 5, 2015.

But the court said it “can­not sus­tain the above con­tention of the ac­cused­movant,” agree­ing with the pros­e­cu­tion that “the amend­ment in­tro­duced by RA 10660 un­der its Sec­tion 2 is not ap­pli­ca­ble in th­ese cases. Sec­tion 5 of RA 10660 pro­vides that the afore­said amend­ment vest­ing ju­ris­dic­tion in the Re­gional Trial Court shall ap­ply only to cases aris­ing from of­fenses com­mit­ted af­ter RA 10660 took ef­fect.”

not con­sti­tute an of­fense be­cause they ac­cused him of at­tempted ex­tor­tion when there is no such of­fense as frus- trated or at­tempted ex­tor­tion.

The court, how­ever, said in part that “[t]he of­fense charged against him in - tion 3 [b] of RA 3019 for ‘de­mand­ing, or re­quest­ing or at­tempt­ing to ex­tort money.’ It is not for ‘at­tempted ex­tor­tion’ and/or dis­tinct of­fense or crime.”

As­so­ci­ate Jus­tice Rodolfo Pon­fer­rada, who leads the court’s Sixth Divi­sion, penned the rul­ing, which was con­curred in by As­so­ci­ate Jus­tices Os­car Her­rera Jr. and Karl Mi­randa.

that was prompted by news re­ports on the al­leged ex­tor­tion try. The Manila Times’ Chair­man re­port about the meet­ings held be

In fil­ing charges last year, the - tempted to ex­tort money from Inekon rep­re­sen­ta­tives in con­nec­tion with the con­tract or trans­ac­tion for ex­change for the se­lec­tion of Inekon

The Inekon rep­re­sen­ta­tives turned down the al­leged re­quest or de­mand for $30 mil­lion so the sum was sup­pos­edly re­duced to $2.5 mil­lion, which they also re­fused.

Also, the Om­buds­man al­leged that rep­re­sen­ta­tives to forge a joint ven­ture agree­ment with a group in­clud­ing de - ment be­tween Inekon and the group, re­spec­tively, in con­nec­tion with the con­tract or trans­ac­tion for the main­te­nance ser­vice of the MRT3 line.

The Inekon rep­re­sen­ta­tives turned down this al­leged re­quest or de­mand, it said.

as “base­less” and said that what the purely ha­rass­ment case against me.”

guilty last year in a con­di­tional ar­raign­ment for pur­poses of a travel clear­ance that he sought from the court.

Both re­spon­dents are out on bail.

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