Court junks Abalos plea to dismiss graft rap

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The Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division stood pat on its ruling denying the plea of former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. to dismiss the graft case filed against him in connection with the alleged anomalous procurement of two vehicles in 2003.

“Under the circumstances, the Court rules that the findings and conclusions contained in the Resolution of February 2, 2017 stand. It finds no compelling reason to reverse or modify the same,” it said.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed the complaint last year, alleging that Abalos procured two vehicles for P1.7 million from a firm without public bidding.

Abalos’ camp had sought the nullification of the complaint saying that the delay in the filing of the case violated his right to speedy case disposition. The Office of the Ombudsman took eight years to finish its investigation, it said.


But the court said the Office of the Ombudsman’s preliminary investigation “cannot be characterized as one attended by vexatious, capricious and oppressive delays.”

According to the court, the case began only when the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office (FIO) formally filed the complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman on August 13, 2013.

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