In an 11-page decision dated Jan. 10 and released yesterday, the anti-graft court’s second division said the Office of the Ombudsman failed to raise any new arguments to reverse the Nov. 9, 2017 ruling dismissing the charges filed against Barbers due to the "inordinate delay" in its investigation.
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Ex-Surigao governor's acquittal over fertilizer scam affirmed
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - January 18, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has affirmed the dismissal of the charges filed against former Surigao del Norte governor Robert Lyndon Barbers in connection with the fertilizer fund scam.

In an 11-page decision dated Jan. 10 and released yesterday, the anti-graft court’s second division said the Office of the Ombudsman failed to raise any new arguments to reverse the Nov. 9, 2017 ruling dismissing the charges filed against Barbers due to the “inordinate delay” in its investigation.

A judgment of dismissal can no longer be appealed under the rule against double jeopardy, the court said.

The Sandiganbayan said the two counts each of graft and malversation of public funds filed against Barbers should be dismissed for violation of his constitutional right to speedy disposition of cases.

“The...10 years and nine months in the conduct of fact-finding and preliminary investigation was unjustified….The prosecution failed to satisfactorily explain the cause of the delay,” the court said.

The charges stemmed from the provincial government’s purchase of fertilizers worth P4.998 million in 2004 without public bidding and found to be overpriced by P4.431 million.

The Sandiganbayan also affirmed the dismissal of the charges filed against Barbers’ co-accused – former provincial engineer and bids and awards committee chairman Vicente Madlos, former BAC vice chairman Bob Edera, former provincial budget officer Virginia Yuipco and former BAC members Teresita Durero and Adolfo Pantillo Sr.

The charges filed against former governor Salvacion Perez of Antique, former congressmen Eduardo Zialcita of Parañaque, Abraham Mitra of Palawan as well as Antonio Cuenco and Antonio Yapha Jr. of Cebu and Masbate Gov. Antonio Kho also in connection with the fertilizer scam had been earlier dismissed over ”capricious, vexatious and inordinate” delay in the investigations.

ABRAHAM MITRA ANTONIO CUENCO ANTONIO KHO ANTONIO YAPHA JR. EDUARDO ZIALCITA FERTILIZER SCAM OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN ROBERT LYNDON BARBERS SALVACION PEREZ SANDIGANBAYAN
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