By Czarina Nicole Ong
The Sandiganbayan Special Third Division saw no reason why the arraignment of former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) chief and current Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. has to be deferred.
The anti-graft court had earlier junked his omnibus motion for bill of particulars and to defer arraignment last August 20, 2018, but he filed a motion for reconsideration.
In it, Andaya argued that the charges against him were ambiguous and undeniably lacked all the details needed for him to properly defend himself.
Even if the charges sufficiently alleged the nature and cause of the accusations against him, Andaya said he still deserved the right to request for his bill of particulars.
A bill of particulars is described as a detailed, formal and written statement of charges or claims by the prosecution.
In securing it, Andaya said he would be able to “adequately and intelligently prepare his defenses for trial and concomitantly set limitations to the prosecution’s right to offer evidence so as to preclude unfair surprises.”
However, the anti-graft court was not swayed by his arguments. It “held in a number of cases that an Information need only state the ultimate facts constituting the offense and not the finer details of why and how the crime was committed,” the resolution read.
Contrary to Andaya’s claims, the court believed that the allegations against Andaya and his co-accused “sufficiently charge the offenses levelled against them,” so there was no more need to defer the arraignment.
“Similarly, the Court has ruled in its impugned resolution that there is nothing ambiguous or confusing in the allegations appearing in the Informations against accused-movant Andaya, Jr. thereby foreclosing the need for a bill of particulars,” the court ruled.
The 74-page resolution was penned by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang with the concurrence of Associate Justices Bernelito Fernandez and Lorifel Pahimna.
Andaya had been slapped with 97 violations of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and another 97 violations of Article 217 in relation to Article 171(2) and 48 of the Revised Penal Code due to his involvement in the P900 million Malampaya fund scam from 2009 to 2010.