Ex-judge howls foul over delays in his case


A former judge of Albay province wanted his case to be dismissed for inordinate delays.

In his six-page motion to quash, Arnulfo Cabredo, former judge of the Regional Trial Court Branch 15 of Tabaco City in Albay, argued that his right to due process and speedy disposition of case was violated.

Cabredo said that the proceedings of his case were attended by delays.

The former judge’s graft case stemmed from the complaint of the Office of the Ombudsman where prosecutors said that he issued an erroneous temporary restraining order that permitted the release of almost 35,000 smuggled sacks of rice.

Initially, the National Prosecution Service of the Department of Justice (DOJ) handled Cabredo’ case, ordering its dismissal in 2003.

In February 2004, the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon upheld the findings of the DOJ, ordering the dismissal of the case against Cabredo’s co-accused Marcial Lopez. But the investigation of his case was deferred.

In a review, the Office of the Legal Affairs of the Ombudsman in October 2004 affirmed the dismissal of Lopez’ case “but directed the conduct of preliminary investigation against Cabredo.”

In March 2012 “or only after eight years,” Cabredo said that former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo resurrected the case and reassigned another graft investigator to handle it.

Months after on June 2012, graft investigator Teresita Butardo-Tacata issued a resolution against Cabredo “without conducting a preliminary investigation” which countered the directive of Marcelo.

“Mathematically, the information in this case was filed only after more than 10 years from the date the complaint was filed in 2002,” Cabredo said in his motion.

Citing Supreme Court ruling in Tatad vs. Sandiganbayan, Cabredo said that delay in the termination of a preliminary investigation for almost three years already showed violation of constitutional rights of an accused to due process.

Cabredo added that in People vs. Ramirez almost seven years of delay in preliminary investigation already hurt an accused right to speedy disposition of case.

“In this instant case, where the delay in the termination of the preliminary investigation was for more than 10 years a fortiori [with even stronger reason]must be held to constitute a denial of his constitutional right to due process and to a speedy disposi-tion of cases,” the accused said.

In closing, the defendant asked the anti-graft court to “give due course” to his motion to quash and to grant it for the ultimate dismissal of his case.


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