• Ex-lawmaker wants arraignment deferred

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    Former representative Cons-tantino Jaraula of Cagayan de Oro sought the deferment of his arraignment on Wednesday as he questioned the charges filed against him in connection with alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocation.

    Jaraula is facing three counts each of graft, malversation and direct bribery charges before the Sandiganbayan’s First Division.

    In a 25-page Urgent Motion to Quash Information with Motion to Defer Arraignment filed last March 6, the defense sought, among others, that “The scheduled arraignment of Accused Jaraula on 12 March 2015 be deferred until the final resolution of this Motion.”

    The former lawmaker’s camp asked in the said motion that the charges filed against him be “annulled, vacated, or overthrown.”

    As an alternative, they asked that the charges be returned to the Office of the Ombudsman so that these can be amended “following a full preliminary investigation, in order to reflect, if they indeed exist, the acts constituting the crimes of Malversation, violation of Section 3 [e]of RA [Republic Act] No. 3019 and Direct Bribery insofar as Accused Jaraula is concerned.”

    The charges impute acts that do not constitute any crime or offense, he said.

    Jaraula argued among others that the implementing agency has the final say on which non-government organization (NGO) to partner with in the implementation of the project.

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