Sandigan to proceed with trial of Aurora governor
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2019 - 5:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — Aurora Gov. Gerardo Noveras will face trial over the provincial government’s alleged anomalous award of contracts for road repair in 2014.

In a resolution promulgated on Jan. 14 and released yesterday, the Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division denied the motion of Noveras to dismiss the charges filed against him for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for lack of merit.

The court also dismissed the petitions filed by Noveras’ co-accused – former provincial bids and awards committee chairman Simeon de Castro, BAC chairman Ricardo Bautista, BAC members Norma Clemente, Isaias Noveras Jr. and Benedicto Rojo as well as private respondent Manding Claro Ramos of RMCR Construction.

The court did not give  weight to the claim of the accused that the information in the charge sheet are insufficient and do not constitute the elements of graft.

The Sandiganbayan also denied Noveras’ motion to remand the case to the ombudsman, saying a preliminary investigation has been conducted.

Noveras and his co-accused were indicted last Oct. 5 over the alleged rigging of the bidding for the award of contracts to RMCR Construction to repair of portions of the Casiguran-Dilasag road.

The ombudsman said RMCR Construction had completed the repair works before the procurement process was concluded.

“More likely... the ... projects were... promised to RMCR Construction, but it was made to appear it went through the regular process of competitive bidding,” the ombudsman resolution dated April 3, 2018 read.      

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