Sen. Lito Lapid was charged with graft over his alleged involvement in the 2004 fertilizer fund scam.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, file
SC reverses dismissal of graft charges vs Lito Lapid
( - December 5, 2019 - 3:37pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has reversed the decision of anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to dismiss the graft charges against Sen. Lito Lapid.

In September 2016, the Sandiganbayan dismissed the graft case against the former Pampanga governor and three others in connection with the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.

The anti-graft court granted Lapid's motion to drop the charges due to the delays in the preliminary investigation of the Office of the Ombudsman.

The Sandiganbayan ruling noted that three years and a month were consumed in the ombudsman's preliminary investigation.

In its decision dated December 5, the SC Second Division ruled that Lapid's right to speedy disposition of cases was not violated.

The high court declared that Lapid, Malayan Pacific Trading Corp. incorporators Ma. Victoria Aquino-Abubakar, Leolita Aquino and DA Vasquez Macro-Licro Fertilizer Resources proprietor Dexter Alexander Vasquez were allowed considerable time before invoking the right to speedy disposition.

Following this decision, the SC directed the Sandiganbayan to resolve the criminal case against Lapid and three others over their alleged involvement in the 2004 fertilizer fund scam.

Lapid was charged with graft in November 2015 over the alleged anomalous purchase of liquid fertilizers worth P4.7 million. – Patricia Lourdes Viray

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