• Ombudsman wants to bring back Disini case

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    IN a pitch to revive the case of Herminio Disini, the Office of the Ombudsman told the San-diganbayan that the case warrants a second look as it falls within the jurisdiction of the anti-graft court.

    In an eight-page motion, state lawyers said that it was the Ombudsman that filed the case because the Supreme Court, in a ruling in Conjuangco vs. the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), prohibited the commission to conduct a preliminary investigation and directed the Ombudsman to take on the case.

    In May, the Office of the Ombudsman charged Disini and officials of Herdis Management and Investment Corp. for inducing Marcos into amassing ill-gotten wealth amounting to P65 million from The Energy Corp. and Vulcan Industrial and Mining Corp.

    State prosecutors did not include any public officer, which the Sandiganbayan found erroneous since graft cases lodged at the anti-graft court should be include a public officer.

    The accused in the Disini case are all private individuals.

    The Ombudsman said that under the Sandiganbayan Act, especially under Section 4 (c), “a private individual can be prosecuted and tried for an offense . . . even if no public officer is charged in the same information.”

    They added that if in the course of PCGG investigation it was determined that an offense was committed by the former-President Ferdinand Marcos or his family members or his cronies, “they shall be charged with the offense thus determined.”

    “And if the penal law violated penalizes only the private person . . . this private person will be charged and prosecuted before the Sandiganbayan,” the motion read.

    The Sandiganbayan also ruled that cases related to Marcos should be filed by the PCGG not the Ombudsman.

    The Ombudsman replied that it was the PCGG that investigated the case, pursuant to Executive Orders 1, 2, 14 and 14-A.

    They added that under the Sandiganbayan Act it does not require criminal cases investigated by PCGG to be “likewise exclusively filed by it.”

    “Having been prohibited from conducting a preliminary investigation and from filing before the Sandiganbayan cases in relation to ill-gotten against the Marcoses and their cronies . . . the PCGG turned over to the Ombudsman in the form of complaints these cases,” the motion read.

    The Ombudsman asked the court to reverse their June 18 resolution and re-instate the case back to the Sandi-ganbayan docket.

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