Sandiganbayan junks Vitangcol’s bid to dismiss graft cases
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.