MANILA- The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division has denied former Rizal Governor Casimiro Ynares Jr's plea to dismiss his graft cases in connection with the alleged overpriced fertilizers purchased by the provincial government in 2004 and 2005.
In a resolution issued by the anti-graft court, the motions to quash on the ground of inordinate delay filed by Ynares, as well as his co-accused Romulo Arcilla, were denied for lack of merit.
“To reiterate, the delay which attended the fact-finding investigation and preliminary investigation of the herein accused-movants should not be a cause for an unfettered abdication by the Court of its duty to try and determine the controversy in these criminal cases,” the court said in its resolution penned by Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and 3rd Division Chairperson Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Bernelito Fernandez and Sarah Jane Fernandez.
Ynares earlier asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the charges against him because his right to speedy trial has been violated.
His lawyers argued that the case took more than 12 years from the date of the supposed commission of the offense up to the filing of the charges before the Sandiganbayan.
Ynares was charged by the Office of the Ombudsman with four counts of graft because of a contract with Freshan Philippines to supply 2,455 bottles of organic fertilizers for P1,500 each when another brand has a lower price.
The Office of the Ombudsman said the contract was overpriced by P3.23 million and entered into without the necessary public bidding.
“The protection under the right to speedy disposition of cases should not operate to deprive the government of its inherent prerogative in prosecuting criminal cases,” the court said in its resolution.
Also charged for the same violations were Rizal provincial accountant Cecilia Almajose, provincial agriculturist Danilo Rumbawa, assistant department head Romulo Archival Jr., department head Eugene Durusan, assistant budget officer Victorina Olea, provincial legal officer Eduardo Torres, provincial engineer Danilo Collantes, provincial administrator Virgilio Esguerra, and Feshan Philippines representative Mallyne Araos.