Sandigan OKs withdrawal of ex-NIA exec’s graft raps

Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - September 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has granted a motion to withdraw a graft case filed against a former official of the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) in connection with the allegedly anomalous purchase of fertilizer and pesticide in 2009.

The motion was filed by the Office of the Ombudsman after it found the pieces of evidence at hand were not strong enough to prosecute Julius Maquiling, former regional manager of NIA Northern Mindanao.

In an order promulgated on Aug. 16, the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division directed the  Bureau of Immigration to lift the hold order previously issued against Maquiling.

The anti-graft court also ordered the bail that Maquiling posted for his provisional liberty released.

Filed by the ombudsman in November last year, the case stemmed from the awarding of a P1.3-million contract to the 3K and C Enterprises for the supply of farm inputs between July and September 2009.

The ombudsman said no public bidding was conducted as required under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The ombudsman said Maquiling resorted to small-value procurement without justifying such mode of procurement.

The Sandiganbayan earlier dismissed the perjury and breach of conduct charges that the ombudsman filed against Maquiling in September 2017.

The charges stemmed from the alleged failure of the accused to declare a trucking business in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth for 2009.

The anti-graft court cited the inordinate delay in the ombudsman’s investigation for the dismissal of the cases.

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