MANILA - The Sandiganbayan junked Quezon City Councilor Roderick Paulate's plea to dismiss graft at falsification charges filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against him.
In a 20-page resolution, the anti-graft court said it found no merit in the motion to quash filed by the actor-turned-politician and his co-accused, liaison officer Vicente Bajamunde.
Paulate is facing graft and falsification charges for allegedly hiring ghost employees in 2010. Bajamunde is facing similar charges for allegedly conspiring with Paulate.
According to the Ombudsman, the two made it appear that the ghost employees rendered service and received their salaries "when in truth and in fact, they did not participate in the said acts."
Paulate and Bajamunde's actions allegedly caused "undue injury to the Quezon City government" amounting to around P1.1 million, the Ombudsman added.
In his motion to quash, Paulate said his rights were violated with the slow process, pointing out that it took the Ombudsman years before filing the case at the Sandiganbayan.
But the anti-graft court said it found no inordinate delay in the preliminary investigation, adding that the Ombudsman's probe took 5 years because it had to investigate 60 individuals.
The Sandiganbayan also said Ombudsman looked into a lot of documents to make sure that the charges against Paulate and Bajamunde had sufficient basis. --report from Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News