SC affirms graft, malversation charges vs ex-Malabon Rep Sandoval

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 31 2018 03:41 PM

MANILA - The Supreme Court has denied former Malabon Representative Federico Sandoval II’s petition questioning the Ombudsman’s filing of charges of graft and malversation of public funds against him.

In a resolution dated October 1, the SC Second Division said Sandoval failed to show that the Ombudsman gravely abused its discretion.

“No grave abuse of discretion can be attributed on the Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause against petitioner as the same was amply supported by substantial evidence.”

The Court noted the Ombudsman’s findings that Sandoval directly endorsed a private foundation, Dr. Rodolfo A. Ignacio, Sr. Foundation, to implement the livelihood projects in his district and directly received his priority development assistance fund.

The Ombudsman also faulted Sandoval for failing to ensure that the projects were implemented and the funds properly liquidated.

“It is settled that the Ombudsman’s determination of whether or not probable cause exists is entitled to great weight and respect, and should stand so long as supported by substantial evidence, as in this case,” the SC ruled.

The resolution did not mention how much funds are involved.

The Court also rejected Sandoval’s claim that there was conspiracy against him, saying that this is a matter of defense that can be raised during trial.

In dismissing Sandoval’s petition for certiorari, the SC also denied his plea for a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction, meant to stop his trial from proceeding.

Sandoval had also been charged before the Sandiganbayan for his alleged involvement in the fertilizer and PDAF scams.