Andaya makes final appeal on P900-M Malampaya cases set for trial

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 03 2018 03:45 PM | Updated as of Sep 03 2018 03:52 PM

MANILA - House Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. is appealing the decision of the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division to proceed with his trial on the 194 cases filed against him by the Office of the Ombudsman.

The cases involve alleged misuse of P900 million Malampaya funds when Andaya was secretary of the Department of Budget and Management.

In a motion for reconsideration filed before the anti-graft court, Andaya’s lawyers said the justices erred in denying their motion for bills of particulars as it was treated as a mere motion to quash. 

“There is clearly no other mention of any other specific act allegedly done by accused Andaya apart from those in aforementioned excerpt. It is due to this precise paucity of overt acts alleged by the prosecution that led accused Andaya to seek redress by moving for the pertinent bill of particulars,” the legislator's lawyers said in their omnibus motion for reconsideration.

On August 20, the court said in a decision penned by Presiding Justice and 3rd Division Chairperson Amparo Cabotaje-Tang that the arguments raised by the accused are better threshed out during a full-blown trial.

Also involved in the cases are former Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and 22 others, including the children of Napoles, Jo Cristine and James Christopher.

It was alleged that the proceeds from the Malampaya natural gas plant that were intended for relief and rehabilitiation efforts after typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009 were supposedly used to fund ghost livelihood projects.

Andaya further noted that the purpose of a bill of particulars is to detail items not included in the informations filed before the court so that he will be able to know the theory of the government’s case, to prepare for his defense, to plead for his acquittal and to compel the prosecution to observe legal limitations in offering their evidence.

He also raised the decision of the Supreme court on the case of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile when the high court said the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division acted with grave abuse of discretion when it denied the bill of particulars filed by Enrile.

He said that instead of merely saying there was conspiracy, the prosecution should proved particulars such as what was the conspiracy, when was it allegedly agreed upon by the parties and what were the particular acts of Andaya. 

“Considering the gravity and magnitude of the charges against him, such a request for more factual details concerning his alleged complicity is not just a matter of procedural remedy but is a substantive right founded on the Constitution,” Andaya said’s lawyers said. 

In his omnibus motion, Andaya also sought to defer his arraignment as his motion for bill of particulars is still pending.