MANILA The Sandiganbayan has dismissed for lack of merit the appeal to dismiss the graft case of a former executive of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in connection with the fertilizer fund scam in 2000.
The anti-graft court's Seventh Division, in a minute resolution dated Oct. 25, 2018, denied former DA Western Mindanao regional executive director Oscar Parawan's motion for reconsideration (MR) and motion to dismiss for lack of merit.
The Sandiganbayan noted that no reason was given why Parawan and his counsel, lawyer Floyd Lalwet, failed to attend the hearing of his own motion to justify their absence that would warrant reconsideration.
Accused's counsel received the assailed order on 21 September 2018. Thus, accused had until 26 September 2018 within which to file a motion for reconsideration. However, the instant motion was only filed on 06 October 2018. Clearly, the motion for reconsideration was filed out of time, the Sandiganbayan said.
Nonetheless, even if we consider the motion for reconsideration and admit the motion to quash, the same still lacks merit, it added.
The anti-graft court stressed that an accused's failure to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information shall be deemed a waiver of any objection.
Court records also showed that on June 19, 2018, Parawan, together with co-accused Maribel Abdulbari, Abundio Bernardo, Ma. Perlice Socorro Julian and Manuel Simbahon, has filed a motion to dismiss the case against them on the ground of violation of their right to speedy disposition.
In his motion, Parawan apologized for his failure to attend the hearing in Dumaguete City and asked the Sandiganbayan to reconsider the order dated Sept. 11, 2018, dismissing his motion to quash. He also reiterated the allegations in his motion to dismiss.
The criminal case was based on the complaints filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, which were based on the Commission on Audit "Report on the Audit of the PHP728-million GMA Farm Input Fund."
Parawan argued that he was charged for the four fund transfers that went through Regional Field Unit Davao City, including the one that was proposed by Isidoro E. Real Jr. of the District of Zamboanga del Sur, in the amount of PHP5 million.
The Sandiganbayan set Parawan's arraignment on Nov. 14, 2018. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency