Ex-CamNorte gov seeks dismissal of graft case

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Former Camarines Norte Gov. Jesus Typoco Jr. asked the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division to dismiss the graft case filed against him and several others over alleged anomalous award of deal for the supply of vegetable seeds in 2004, citing inordinate delay by the Ombudsman.

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Typoco was charged along with former provincial officers – accountant Maribeth Malaluan, treasurer Lorna Coreses, agriculturist Rodolfo Salamero and Jose Rene Ruidera, OIC general services.

“.. the inordinate, oppressive and vexatious delay in the filing of the instant information, considering that the alleged crime committed was in 2004 or thirteen (13) years ago, the Accused is deprived of his right to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence. By reason of passage of more than a decade due to the unreasonable delay in the investigation, Accused Typoco, Jr. had lost contact to witnesses who, and pieces of evidence which, should have been available to him,” the defense said in an omnibus motion.

According to the motion, the investigating body began its probe in 2006 and filed the complaint in 2011.

The defense said it took five years and seven months to finish the preliminary investigation and another eight months to file the case before the court.

“Parenthetically, it is respectfully submitted that the factual and legal issues involved in this case are not complex to justify the long length of period of investigation. The issues are not novel, the records are not fraudulently concealed and an investigating team was created specifically to investigate on this transaction,” the defense said.

Likewise citing inordinate delay, Ruidera is also seeking the dismissal of the same case.

“This unwarranted delay in the prosecution of this case has prejudiced the Accused since the witnesses who could have been utilized [by the Accused]to defend himself have either retired, transferred to another place of work, or could no longer be located,” his camp said in a motion.

Ruidera retired from the service in 2015.

The Ombudsman alleged that Typoco, “conspiring and confederating” with the other accused, gave unwarranted benefits and preference to MDB Agrovet and General Merchandise for the supply of Pilipinas Kaneko vegetable seeds amounting to P499,917 without public bidding.

REINA TOLENTINO

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