Sandiganbayan denies Jaraula’s motion to quash
The anti-graft court has denied the motion to quash filed by former Cagayan de Oro City representative Constantino Jaraula in connection with the alleged misuse of P3 million fertilizer fund last 2003 to 2004.
In a 13-paged resolution penned by Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna and promulgated last Monday, November 5, the Sandiganbayan denied the Consolidated Motion to Quash Informations filed by Jaraula last August 24.
Jaraula was indicted for two counts of graft and a malversation charges. The other 15 co-accused include agriculture officials and private respondents.
The former congressman has alleged in his consolidated motion that his constitutional right to speedy disposition of cases against him has been violated as the Office of the Ombudsman took a period of more than three years to conduct and terminate preliminary investigation.
He argued that the complaints which were allegedly committed in 2004 were filed on August 4, 2014 or more than 10 years later.
However, the court ruled to deny the motion.
“Employing the foregoing factors of delay to this case, this court rules that the right of the accused
to a speedy disposition of his case has not been violated,”reads part of the resolution.
However the court notes that the three-year delay is necessary and unavoidable and is not solely attributable to the Office of the Ombudsman considering the number of respondents given the opportunity to file their counter-affidavits, the number of papers and affidavits filed and the extensions sought.
“Considering the further the complexity and voluminous records needed to be procured, examined, and inspected and scrutinized and the sixteen respondents and their witnesses involved in the matter that the Office of the Ombudsman failed to swiftly dispose of these cases for preliminary investigation and arriving at a more prudent resolution of filing the appropriate charges against all the accused,”the resolution said.
“Nonetheless, this delay cannot be considered as oppressive, vexatious or whimsical that warrants the dismissal of the said cases,”it added. Alwen Saliring