The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has upheld its ruling clearing Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr. of a graft charge over the purchase of a sports utility vehicle (SUV).
The anti-graft court has turned down the motion for reconsideration of the prosecution asking not to dismiss the charges against Baguilat.
“Nothing new was raised in the motion. The delay in investigation is not justified by the brazen excuse that the COA (Commission on Audit) belatedly submitted its report,” the court ruled.
The court said the Ombudsman violated his constitutional right for the speedy disposition of cases since the conduct of the preliminary investigation took too long before the case was finally filed on before the Sandiganbayan
The 5th Division noted that the complaint against him was filed before the Ombudsman on September 24, 2009.
However, it pointed out the Ombudsman, after finding probable cause to indict him, filed the case before the Sandiganbayan on February 9, 2018.
“Simply put, there appears to be no justifiable basis as to why the Ombudsman could not have earlier resolved these cases against the accused,” read the court’s first ruling.
Under the charges, he is accused of having purchased a secondhand Isuzu Trooper worth P900,000 when he still Ifugao governor in 2003 without undergoing the required public bidding.