SENATOR Jose Victor “JV” Ejercito on Thursday sought refuge before the Supreme Court (SC), asking to halt the prosecution of graft charges against him before the Sandiganbayan during his stint as mayor of San Juan City (Metro Manila) for the purchase of guns for the city without public bidding.
In his petition filed with the High Court, dated April 20, 2016, the senator prayed that findings of the Office of the Ombudsman against him for issuing the same with grave abuse of discretion be junked.
Ejercito was charged along with 19 others with technical malversartion and graft before the Sandiganbayan for the purchase of firearms with HK Tactical Defense System Inc. on May 23, 2008 without the benefit of public bidding.
“After due proceedings, a decision issue granting the petition and … annulling the Office of the Ombudsman’s joint order dated December 29, 2015 in OMB-C-C-14-0514 for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction,” the document read.
Joining the senator as petitioners are San Juan City officials, his co-accused in the case: Leonardo Celles, Andoni Carballo, Vincent PAcheco, Dante Santiago, Grace Pardines, Francis Peralta, Eduardo Soriano, Jannah Ejercito-Surla, Joseph Torralba, Ranulfo Dacalos, Rosalinda Marasigan, Romualdo Delos Santos, Lorenza Ching and Danilo Mercado.
Ejercito and his group also pleaded with the SC to order the Sandiganbayan 5th and 6th Divisions to dismiss the criminal charges filed against him for lack of merit.
For his immediate plea, he asked the SC to issue a “temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction issued preventing the Sandiganbayan’s 5th and 6th Divisions, and the Office of the Ombudsman from further proceeding.”