Prosecutors want LRay’s MR denied by Sandiganbayan

NAGA CITY September 25, 2016 (Bicol Standard) -- Private complainant Carlo Batalla of the Citizens Crime Watch (CCW) told the Bicol Standard that the government prosecutors who are handling the case against LRay Villafuerte asked the Sandiganbayan to deny the motion for reconsideration on the order preventively suspending him for 90 days for violation of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. 3019).

Private complainant Carlo Batalla
Batalla said that the prosecution argued that the issues raised by Villafuerte in his MR “are similar to the issues already passed upon by the Supreme Court in the ruling that dismissed a petition for certiorari wherein Ramon Y. Talaga Jr. questioned the anti-graft’s court’s ruling ordering his suspension for 90 days."

Earlier, Villafuerte filed an omnibus motion for reconsideration before the Sixth Division of the Sandiganbayan, arguing that it erred in issuing the ruling on his preventive suspension.

The main argument raised by his counsel was that "Villafuerte was arraigned over two years ago at a time when he was no longer holding public office; that the pre-trial of the case was finished over two years ago; that the prosecution is nearly done presenting its evidence; that he is no longer based nor holds office in Camarines Sur; and that he never interfered or impeded the case proceedings."

The Ombudsman filed an anti-graft case against Villafuerte for three counts of graft together with private respondent Jeffrey Lo in connection with the alleged procurement of P20 million worth of petroleum products in 2010 from the latter without the required public bidding.

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