THE Sandiganbayan’s fifth division has dismissed for lack of merit the motion for reconsideration filed by former Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn filed on August 16 in connection with the graft complaint he is facing.
The Office of the Ombudsman filed cases of graft, perjury and breach of conduct over Hagedorn’s alleged failure to “truthfully and accurately declare”several real properties, motor vehicles and corporate/business interests in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) for 2004 to 2012.
In his motion, Hagedorn said the unexplained and unjustified delay in the prosecution is a violation of his constitutional right to speedy disposition of the case, and that he cannot be simultaneously charged with perjury and breach of conduct, based on the prohibition written under Section 11 of Republic Act no. 6713.
The court said the allegations Hagedorn raised on unjustified delay are a “mere rehash” of his earlier pleadings, and did not raise any new matter.
“The accused simply restates the arguments already addressed and found unmeritorious by this Court in its Resolution dated July 19,2017. Thus, the Court is not persuaded that this issue requires any further discussion,” the resolution read.
It added that Hagedorn’s claim that he cannot be charged simultaneously with perjury and breach of conduct is “erroneous” and “bereft of merit.”
The court cited Section 11 of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Government Officials that states that if the violation is punishable by a heavier penalty, the respondent or accused will then be prosecuted under the latter statute.
RALPH U. VILLANUEVA