Sandigan urged to suspend JV Ejercito

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 22 2016 12:28 PM

Senator JV Ejercito. Stringer, NPPA Images

State prosecutors are asking the Sandiganbayan to suspend Senator Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito while his graft case is pending litigation.

The senator is accused of violating the anti-graft law over the alleged anomalous purchase of high-powered firearms using P2.1 million in San Juan City's calamity funds when he was mayor in 2008.

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In a "Motion to Suspend Accused Pendente Lite (pending litigation)," the prosecution also asked the anti-graft court to place Ejercito's other co-accused who currently hold position in San Juan City government under preventive suspension for 90 days.

They are Ranulfo Dacalos, city administrator, Romualdo Delos Santos,legal officer, and Danilo Mercado, special assistant on documentation and compliance of the Office of the Mayor,

The prosecution pointed out that under Section 13 of the Republic Act 3019 or the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act", an accused incumbent public officer with pending criminal case involving fraud upon government or public funds or property shall be suspended from office.

The prosecution further pointed out that since Ejercito, Dacalos, Delos Santos, and Ching were already arraigned on April 18, "the validity of the Information filed against them is no longer in question."

"The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the preventive suspension...is mandatory in character "upon proper determination of the validity of the Information, it becomes mandatory for the court to immediately issue the suspension order," the motion read.

"Section 13 is so clear and explicit that there is hardly room for any extended court rationalization of the law.This Court has repeatedly held that such preventive suspension is mandatory , and there are no ifs and buts about it,"

As of posting, ABS-CBN is still awaiting response from Sen. JV Ejercito.

Ejercito earlier said the firearms were bought in response to the city police chief's request as the city at that time was dealing with a spate of crimes.

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