Sandiganbayan upholds graft indictment of ex-Quezon mayor Silang
The Sandiganbayan 7th Division has upheld the graft indictment of former Tayabas City, Quezon mayor Faustino Alandy Silang over his alleged involved in an anomalous spare parts deal in 2009.
The anti-graft court junked his motion to quash as it did not agree with his arguments including that his constitution right for the speedy disposition of his case got violated since it took too long for the Commission on Audit (COA) to release a report about the deal.
The court explained the preliminary investigation conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman should remain separate from the findings made by the COA.
“That being the case, the period spent by the COA in conducting the audit in this case should be excluded in the computation of the period in determining inordinate delay,” the court said.
“To rule otherwise would open the floodgates for accountable government officials to evade prosecution simply on the ground that the audit on government procurement took a considerable length of time to conclude regardless of the period spent by the Ombudsman in the actual preliminary investigation,” it stressed.
Silang is accused of giving unwarranted benefit and advantage to CAMEC JCB Corporation in connection with a three-year deal for the supply of spare parts worth P5,265,958.
However, the Ombudsman which filed the charges before the Sandiganbayan claimed that the payment was made even though the purchase was considered “excessive and an unnecessary expense” in violation of the Local Government Code of 1991.
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