Sandiganbayan junks Bulacan mayor’s bid to suspend trial
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - December 28, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan will proceed with the trial of the graft charges filed against Mayor Alfredo Germar of Norzagaray, Bulacan in connection with the alleged illegal hiring of consultants in 2013.

In a resolution released yesterday, the anti-graft court’s sixth division said Germar failed to present any ‘meritorious’ argument in his motion to reverse its Nov. 12 resolution to suspend the trial.

The court said there is no legal ground for the suspension even if the Supreme Court (SC) cleared Germar of  grave misconduct in connection with the case.

The Sandiganbayan said it would proceed with the trial unless the SC orders the dismissal of the cases filed against Germar.

“Suspending the proceedings... will not promote the objective of the rules of securing a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and proceeding,” the decision read.

Germar is facing two counts of graft as the ombudsman said the hiring of the consultants was without the approval of the Sangguniang Bayan.

The ombudsman said the appointment of the consultants have caused “undue injury” to the government with the payment of their salaries amounting to P110,357.

In his motion, Germar said the trial should be suspended as the cases stemmed from the same facts as his administrative case.

However, the court said the evidence presented in Germar’s administrative case might not be the same as those presented in the criminal cases.            

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