Prosecutors press suspension of JV Ejercito, San Juan execs

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Special Prosecutor has asked the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to order the implementation of the preventive suspension it had earlier issued against Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito and two incumbent San Juan City officials stemming from alleged fund misuse when he was city mayor.

The prosecution arm of the Office of the Ombudsman filed a motion with the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division, seeking the issuance of a directive to the office of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and the office of the San Juan Mayor to explain why they have yet to implement the suspension order issued by the court on August 22.

The prosecutors said Pimentel and the Office of the City Mayor of San Juan had yet to notify the OSP that they had implemented the suspension order on Ejercito and on San Juan city administrator Ranulfo Barte Dacalos and city legal officer Romualdo Corpuz de los Santos, respectively. 

They said the defendants did not file any motion for reconsideration. And while a Petition for Certiorari was filed with the Supreme Court, no writ of preliminary injunction has been issued to stop implementation, they added.

"[The] resolution has therefore become final and executory,” the prosecution said.

The 3 officials are facing criminal charges for the alleged misuse of San Juan’s calamity funds when Ejercito was city mayor in 2008. Ejercito had alleged that the case against him was politically motivated.

In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, October 19, Pimentel said when his office received a copy of the preventive suspension on Ejercito, he referred it to the Senate committee on rules.

“The Senate Committee on Rules has not reported out an answer or come back to me. That would be my answer,” he said, referring to his explanation to the Sandiganbayan, if the court would ask for it.

He added that the court should be the one to inform the Senate that the period for filing a motion for reconsideration regarding Ejercito’s case had lapsed.

“Why is that responsibility thrown to us?” Pimentel asked. – Rappler.com