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Ombudsman junks Andaya plea to dismiss case

The Ombudsman is opposing the plea of Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. for the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the graft and malversation charges filed against him in connection with the alleged P900-million Malampaya fund scam.

In a 15-page opposition filed on April 10, Ombudsman prosecutors said Andaya's motion for reconsideration should be denied as the plea was filed beyond the five-day period reglementary period stated under the Guidelines for Continuous Trial.

Andaya earlier filed a motion to dismiss the cases but the anti-graft court denied his plea, thus Andaya filed a motion for reconsideration.

Andaya only filed his motion for reconsideration in late March when the resolution denying his original motion to dismiss was promulgated on March 6, the Ombudsman said.

But even if Andaya filed the motion for reconsideration on time, the Ombudsman said the MR should still be dismissed “based on the merits” because he raised the same assertions from his denied motion.

In his motion for reconsideration, Andaya said the information containing the 97 counts each of graft and malversation through falsification filed against him are “fatally defective” as “it failed to show how I participated in the scheme.”

The court, however, said that it had already ruled on the validity of the charges, saying all matters on the alleged role of Andaya in the scheme are best presented during the trial, the Ombudsman said.

The case involves the P900-million Malampaya fund that Andaya released to the Department of Agrarian Reform on 2009, when he was the Budget secretary, for relief operations, rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas affected by Tropical Storm “Ondoy” and Typhoon “Pepeng” in 2009.

However, the funds allegedly went to 13 bogus non-government organizations of convicted plunderer Janet Lim-Napoles.

Andaya and Napoles are scheduled to be arraigned on April 22.

Topics: Ombudsman , Rolando Andaya Jr. , Sandiganbayan , Malampaya fund scam
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