Court acts as fiscal and judge of Napoles' children – lawyer
But in his separate opinion, Justice Martires was simply invoking a rule in criminal proceedings where prosecutors may be ordered "to present additional evidence" in "case of doubt on the existence of probable cause."
The prosecutors are given 5 days from notice to provide the new evidence in court and the judge 30 days to issue a resolution.
Still, David alleged that the court assumes a dual personality as both prosecutor and judge if it deems the evidence insufficient but still pushes for a finding of probable cause instead of an outright dismissal.
The court is required to determine probable cause on its own, and separate from the findings of the Ombudsman, against the accused. This is to disable prosecutors from abusively filing cases against public officers and to prevent the clogging of the court docket.
The court's own finding of probable cause would be the basis of an arrest warrant.
37 of 49 co-accused okayed for indictment
Probable cause against 37 of those charged with graft along with Enrile was unanimously determined by the 3rd division justices. Arrest warrants may be issued for them anytime.
The court deferred its decision on the issuance of arrest warrants for 12 of Enrile's co-accused in his graft case. In contrast, all of Enrile's co-accused in his plunder case were ordered arrested Friday.
Third Division clerk of court Dennis Pulma said the postponement of arrest warrants against the 12 others was due to Martires' separate opinion.
Martires voted that the prosecution present additional evidence against 8 of the accused – Jo Christine Napoles, James Christopher Napoles, Fernando Ramirez, Aileen Palama, Amparo Fernando, Jesus Bergola Castillo, Dorilyn Fabian, and Renato Ornopia.
"I dissent that warrants of arrest be issued against the persons," his separate opinion read.
Martires also voted for the dismissal of the graft case against Margarita Guadinez. He said the Ombudsman in its joint resolution failed to discuss the participation of Guadinez in the pork scam.
Likewise, Martires voted for the reinvestigation of the graft charges against 3 of the co-accused. They are: Laarni Uy, Rodrigo Galang, and Hernani Ditchon.
He said the 3 were denied their rights to due process. With no known addresses, the 3 were not served the Ombudsman's November 19 order requiring them to answer to the charges against them during the preliminary investigation.
The Sandiganbayan is hearing the plunder and graft cases of Senators Enrile, Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr, and Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada filed by the Ombudsman.
The 3 principal accused face plunder and graft charges for allegedly allowing their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to fund fictitious projects of bogus nongovernmental organizations run by Napoles. – Rappler.com