Court clears ex-Butuan city treasurer

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The Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division has thrown out the cases filed against then-Butuan City Treasurer Adulfo Llagas in connection with the allegedly belated remittance to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) of the premium payments of employees of the Butuan Medical Center for several months.

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Llagas was charged last year with violation of Section 52(d) in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act 8291 or the GSIS law.

The cases stemmed from a letter that the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao received in 2008 from the concerned employees who complained that they were allegedly made to pay penalties for the supposedly late remittance of their premium contributions.

In a 10-page resolution, the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division said in part that “there is a span of roughly eight years from 2008, the time when the letter complaint was filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, until February 16, 2016, when these cases were filed before this Court.”

“The period of nearly eight years for the Office of the Ombudsman-Mindanao to conduct a preliminary investigation is definitely lengthy. It should be emphasized that the OMB-Mindanao did not act upon the case after the herein accused filed his counter-affidavit for a period of more than four years. Instead of resolving the preliminary investigation, it directed the parties to file their respective position papers and resolved the case only after another year lapsed,” the court said.

The court also agreed with Llagas’ argument that the case filed against him had no complex issues to be resolved.

It thus dismissed the cases “for being violative of his right to the speedy disposition of cases lodged against him.”

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