MANILA - The Sandiganbayan has dismissed graft and malversation charges against former San Jose, Antique Mayor Fernando Corvera and former Municipal Accountant Antonio Tordesillas due to delays in the preliminary investigation of the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Office of the Ombudsman had accused the 2 former officials of graft and malversation of public funds for Corvera's alleged failure to liquidate and return the P685,477 worth of cash advances he received from 1999 to 2007.
The anti-graft court's 1st Division granted the 2 former officials' dismissal plea as it refused to believe the prosecution's explanation that delays in the filing of the cases were due to longer time spent on researching and drafting of the case.
"While it may be true that a mere mathematical computation of the time utilized in the preliminary investigation is not a sufficient gauge of violation of one's right to speedy disposition of cases, however, it is incumbent upon the prosecution to explain that the delay is justified. This, the prosecution miserably failed to do," the court said.
With the dismissal of the cases, the anti-graft court also ordered the lifting of the hold departure order against the 2 former officials, as well as the release of their bail bonds.