By Czarina Nicole Ong
The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division has denied the motion to quash filed by former Capiz Governor Vicente Bediones Bermejo because there was no merit to his claim that his right to speedy disposition of cases was violated.
Bermejo was earlier slapped with a violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, due to the reportedly anomalous purchase of four vehicles in 2007.
The four used vehicles – three units of Mitsubishi Pajero Wagon and one unit of Isuzu Elf Manlift Truck that amount to a total of P1,950,800 – were purchased via public auction from the Philippine Pan Subic Ventures Inc.
Bermejo was faulted for not conducting public bidding for the purchase of these vehicles on June 12, 2007, which is in violation of the procedures of R.A. 9184.
In his motion to quash, Bermejo argued that his graft charge should be dismissed on the ground of inordinate delay. He said that the Ombudsman allowed a total of eight years from the filing of the complaint on September 2010 until the filing of the Information on April 6, 2018.
Because of this, Bermejo said he suffered from “excessive, unwarranted and oppressive delay.” However, the anti-graft court ruled that his reasoning is bereft of merit.
“The period during which the records of this case were examined and reviewed for case build-up, the time poured into the research of pertinent laws and jurisprudence, the thoroughness of analysis must be considered as reasonable processes of justice,” the resolution read.
“Moreover, the proceedings were done for the protection of the rights of the accused so that his rights will not be compromised at the altar of expediency,” it added.
The eight-page resolution was penned by Associate Justice Kevin Narce Vivero with the concurrence of Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez and Associate Justice Karl Miranda.