Jaraula’s arraignment deferred anew

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Former Rep. Constantino Jaraula of Cagayan de Oro’s arraignment was postponed again on Monday pending resolution of the motion he filed wherein he questioned the charges against him.

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Jaraula is facing three counts each of graft, malversation and direct bribery charges before the Sandiganbayan’s 1st Division in connection with the pork barrel scam.

The court reset the former lawmaker’s arraignment to June 1, as well as that of his co-defendants who have not yet been read charges including businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

On March 12, the anti-graft court reset Jaraula’s arraignment to May 4 granting his plea to defer said arraignment pending resolution of the motion to quash he filed on March 6.

In his motion, he asked the court that the charges be “annulled, vacated, or overthrown” or in the alternative, that these be returned to the Office of the Ombudsman for reinvestigation.

The charges filed against him by the Ombudsman impute acts that do not constitute any crime or offense, Jaraula argued.

Likewise deferred last March was the arraignment of Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and employees Lalaine Paule, Marilou Bare and Rosario Nuñez—who are charged of graft and malversation—pending their motion for judicial re-determination of probable cause.

The arraignment of several defendants charged of graft and malversation charges pushed through last March. Former Technology Resource Center Director General Dennis Cunanan, Francisco Figura, Marivic Jover, Ma. Rosalinda Lacsamana, Belina Concepcion, Maurine Dimaranan and Mylene Encarnacion entered pleas of not guilty.

Jaraula allegedly received kickbacks totaling P20.8 million out of P50.5 million Priority Development Assistance Fund allocation from 2004 to 2007 which was supposedly for financial assistance, technical assistance through video courses and printed materials.

The Office of the Ombudsman said that the projects were found to be “ghost” projects because they were allegedly never implemented in the lone district of Cagayan De Oro.

Meanwhile, the Sandi-ganbayan has yet to receive the Supreme Court’s ruling which allows Napoles to be brought from the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong to the anti-graft court for hearings.

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