• Court asked to junk lawmaker’s appeal

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    PROSECUTORS have asked the Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division to deny a motion for reconsideration filed by Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte Jr. on an order preventively suspending him for 90 days pending litigation of his graft charges.

    According to the prosecution, the arguments that Villafuerte raised “are similar to the issues already addressed by a Supreme Court ruling that dismissed a petition for certiorari (review) wherein Ramon Y. Talaga Jr. questioned the anti-graft court’s ruling ordering his suspension for 90 days.

    Last week, Villafuerte filed an omnibus motion for reconsideration before the Sandiganbayan, arguing that the court’s Sixth Division “erred” in issuing the ruling on his preventive suspension.

    His lawyers cited that “Villafuerte was arraigned over two years ago at a time when he was no longer holding public office; that the pre-trial of the case was finished over two years ago; that the prosecution is nearly done presenting its evidence; that he is no longer based nor holds office in Camarines Sur; and that he never interfered or impeded the case proceedings.”

    In 2013, the Office of the Ombudsman filed three counts of graft against Villafuerte and private respondent Jeffrey Lo in connection with alleged procurement of P20 million worth of petroleum products in 2010 from the latter without the required public bidding.

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