• Court denies ex-Iloilo lawmaker’s bid to dismiss cases


    THE Sandiganbayan Fifth Division denied a plea by former Rep. Augusto Syjuco Jr. of Iloilo to dismiss the graft and malversation cases filed against him and several others, in connection with the P4.3 million allegedly released to a non-government organization (NGO) and allegedly used by Syjuco to finance a business.

    Syjuco sought the dismissal of the cases, saying that his right to speedy disposition of cases was violated. The cases, which were filed in January, stemmed from a complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman in 2005.

    The court said in part in a resolution that “the prosecution is correct that these are not ordinary cases but rather those which need a thorough investigation to properly charge the people involved.”

    “In sum, the facts do not show any intention on the part of the prosecution to inordinately delay the conduct of the fact-finding and preliminary investigation,” the court said in part.

    It thus denied the motion to dismiss filed by Syjuco for lack of merit.

    According to the charge sheets, P4.3 million in public funds were released to the NGO Tagipusuon Foundation, Inc. and allegedly used “by accused Syjuco to finance the business of Chickboy Corporation” which supposedly had its business address at his then-residence.

    The former lawmaker was charged, along with Eduardo Lecciones Jr., who was then-regional executive director of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 6 at the time material to the cases; Mylene Villanueva, who was then-managing director of the NGO, and; Antonio Rojas, who was then-president of Chickboy. MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO





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