Ombudsman seeks reversal of ruling on ex-Palawan gov Joel Reyes

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2017 03:19 PM

MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman is asking for the reversal of the decision of the Sandiganbayan 5th Division to dismiss the graft case against former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes due to inordinate delay. 

In its motion for reconsideration, the prosecution said the case against Reyes "neither went into deep slumber, as claimed by the accused, nor was it attended by inordinate delay to warrant its dismissal." 

The motion for reconsideration submitted by the prosecution is a rehash of their motion for reconsideration on the dismissal of the cases against the co-accused of Reyes, Rodolfo Guieb and Dennis Araullo, in the P3.25-million Fertilizer Fund Scam in 2004.

The motions to dismiss of Guieb and Araullo were granted by the court just last March. 

The graft case filed against Reyes was dismissed earlier this month due to "inordinate delay." Reyes' camp earlier filed a motion to dismiss the case on the ground that his right to speedy disposition of cases was violated because of the prolonged investigation of the Ombudsman. 

The prosecution, however, argued that the court overlooked other factors when it used the Supreme Court decision on Corpuz vs. Sandiganbayan, which cited Williams vs. US. 

They noted that the SC decision justified the right of the state to try the case if the accused suffered no serious prejudice and the delay is attributable to the ordinary process of justice.

The prosecution said accused were not detained and even if they may have suffered anxiety, they did not file any pleadings nor motions for the early resolution of the case. 

They also argued that the supposed protracted period of August 2011 to August 2013 was necessary to thresh out and resolve the numerous documents pertaining to the case including the affidavits, counter-affidavits, filed by all of the accused. 

The prosecution underscored in their motion for reconsideration that "the dismissal of the case is too drastic a remedy to be accorded to those who invoke the right." 

Reyes is currently detained in Palawan for a different case, the murder of environmentalist and radio anchor Gerry Ortega.