Garcia arraignment on Balili property case cancelled-A A +A
Monday, March 11, 2013
MANILA -- Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia will not enter on Tuesday her plea on the graft and malversation raps filed against her by the Office of the Ombudsman after the Sandiganbayan took note of her petition before the Supreme Court to stop the trial.
In a phone interview, Garcia's counsel Tranquil Salvador III said the Sandiganbayan Second Division decided last Friday not to push through with the arraignment to allow the SC to resolve their petition for certiorari with a prayer of temporary restraining order.
The SC will hold its en banc session on Tuesday but it was not immediately clear if the petition is included in the agenda.
"We are hoping that the SC will take this up soon," Salvador told Sun.Star.
Bought in 2008, the P98.9-million Balili Estate in Tinaan, Naga City, must be used by the Cebu Provincial Government for several purposes.
However, the Ombudsman said that a "large portion" of the 11 parcels of land were submerged in seawater, thus it cannot be used for the intended purpose of developing an international seaport and attract investors nor even for site development or housing.
Salvador said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales committed grave abuse of discretion when she came out with the resolutions indicting Garcia for the prohibited acts.
Also charged with graft are former Provincial Board member Juan Bolo, former Provincial Assessor Anthony Sususco, Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre, Provincial Engineer Eulogio Pelayre, Provincial Budget Officer Emme Gingoyon and even the relatives of the Balilis. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)