Court junks cases vs. ex-Surigao del Norte GOV


The Sandiganbayan’s Second Division dismissed the two graft and malversation cases against former Surigao del Norte Gov. Robert Lyndon Barbers for “inordinate delay” by the Office of the Ombudsman in filing the cases in court. “Based on the foregoing, it is evident that the constitutional rights of the accused to speedy disposition of cases has been violated due to the delay in the investigations conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman. The Court finds that the total period of 10 years and 9 months in the conduct of fact-finding investigation and prelimi0ary investigation is unjustified. Ultimately, the prosecution failed to satisfactorily explain the cause of the delays,” the court said in part. The court also lifted the hold departure order against Barbers and ordered the release of the cash bond he posted. The Ombudsman had charged Barbers in connection with the alleged anomalous procurement of more than P4.9-million worth of fertilizers in 2004 along with then-Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Chairman Vicente Madlos, then-BAC Vice Chairman Bob Edera as well as then-BAC members Virginia Yuipco, Teresita Durero, Audie Relliquette and Adolfo Pantilo Sr.


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