• Sandiganbayan orders arrest of ER Ejercito

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    The Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division issued an order for the arrest of ousted Laguna Governor E.R. Ejercito on Monday after he failed to attend the arraignment for the graft case over the allegedly anomalous insurance deal in 2008.

    The court also ordered the forfeiture of the P30,000 bail bond Ejercito posted for his provisional liberty.

    But the court also gave Ejercito’s camp 30 days to explain why he was unable to attend the said arraignment.

    During the hearing on Monday morning, his lawyers presented a medical certificate dated April 18 signed by attending physician Dr. Maria Fe Alvarez.

    It stated that Ejercito was confined at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City (Metro Manila), diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia-moderate risk.

    But the court did not accept the medical certificate, noting a condition below the medical certificate which said, “To be used only for school or work purposes. Strictly not for medico-legal purpose.”

    The arrest warrant was addressed to the Chiefs of Police of Pagsanjan as well as of San Juan, the Provincial Director of the Laguna Police Provincial Office, the Chief of the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation.

    They were ordered to arrest Ejercito and bring him to court.

    In filing the case before the court, the Office of the Ombudsman alleged that the deal was entered into without the required public bidding while Ejercito was the mayor of Pagsanjan town.

    Likewise named respondents were former town Vice Mayor Crisostomo Vilar and six former Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council) members – Arlyn Lazaro-Torres, Terryl Gamit-Talabong, Kalahi Rabago, Erwin Sacluti and Gener Dimaranan.

    Also charged was Marilyn Bruel, identified in the charge sheet as the proprietor of First Rapids Care Ventures (FRCV).

    On March 31, the Sandiganbayan found probable cause for the case to proceed to trial.

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