Hearing of graft cases vs Clavel, 6 others deferred-A A +A
Saturday, November 2, 2013
THE Sandiganbayan has yet to resolve the motion of former Cebu fourth district congresswoman Clavel Asas-Martinez, who asked the anti-graft court to dismiss the graft cases that she and her six other co-accused are facing.
Instead, the Sandiganbayan transferred the hearing of the graft cases against Martinez and six others from the anti-graft court’s Second Division to the Fifth Division.
The transfer of the case came after Associate Justice Roland Jurado, the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division chairperson, inhibited himself from hearing two cases he previously handled.
Because of this, the justices of the Second Division agreed during their proceedings to transfer the cases against Martinez and the six others to the Fifth Division.
The two cases, which Justice Jurado let go, were raffled to the Second Division.
The transfer was “in consonance with the existing policy to maintain the fair distribution of cases among five divisions,” the Second Division justices said.
The Office of the Ombudsman is asking the Sandiganbayan to deny the pleading of Martinez and her six co-accused, who asked the anti-graft court to drop the cases filed against them.
In a four-page comment, Assistant Special Prosecutor Bienvenida Gruta also argued the defense’s motion to suspend the implementation of warrant of arrest, saying, the move “came too late” since it was already issued on March 18.
Gruta said the respondents “have no personality to ask for any concession” from the Sandiganbayan.
“They (respondents) have not presented themselves personally before the trial court, hence, the court has not yet acquired jurisdiction over their persons,” the prosecutor’s pleading read.
The anti-graft court has yet to resolve the motion of Clavel, who seeks to dismiss the graft and malversation of public fund cases over alleged irregular transfer of the P10 million to her personal bank account.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 03, 2013.