Former MCIAA executives cleared of graft charges
Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - January 26, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan Second Division has dismissed the anti-graft case filed against the former Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) executives over an alleged anomalous purchase of radio equipment in 2005.

 

Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna granted the motion to quash information filed by former MCIAA bids and awards chairwoman Veronica Ordoñez and former legal officer Sigfredo Dublin.

“The court hereby grants the prayer in the motion to quash filed by both the accused for the dismissal of the instant case on the ground of violation of the Constitutional right to speedy disposition of cases,” the resolution read.

Aside from Ordoñez and Dublin, the Sandiganbayan also cleared Adelberto Federico Yap, former general manager of MCIAA, who was also accused in the same case.

Ordoñez and Dublin, through their counsel, asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss their case, saying their Constitutional right to a speedy disposition of cases was violated.

It was in 2006 when Rogelio Yaun filed the anti-graft case before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas.

Yaun alleged there was lack of justification for the re-canvass of the award, deliberate misapplication of Section 50 of Republic Act 9184 on the matter of procurement of goods from exclusive distributors through direct contracting, and that the check was issued and encashed before the equipment has been delivered and inspected.

Ordoñez and Dublin said it was only on December 1, 2017 that the case was filed before the Sandiganbayan, which they claimed was contrary to their constitutional right to speedy disposition of cases.

The Ombudsman violated their right, they added.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman denied the inordinate delay. They alleged the preliminary investigation was not attended by “vexatious, capricious and oppressive delay.”

The Sandiganbayan ruled in favor of Ordoñez and Dublin.

“Interestingly, the instant case arose merely from a single transaction involving the purchase of one UHF/FM Repeater System amounting to P161,890.91, which would not even necessitate legal complexities nor involve voluminous records that would ultimately require an unreasonable length of time in resolving,” read the resolution.

The delay in terminating the investigation, the Sandiganbayan ruled, ran counter to the Ombudsman’s duty as mandated by the Constitution and warrants the dismissal of the case.— BRP (FREEMAN)

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