Masbate Gov. Kho cleared of graft charge

MANILA 3/22/17 (Bicol Standard)--The Sandiganbayan has cleared Masbate Gov. Antonio Kho of a graft charge involving the purchase of liquid fertilizer in 2004.

Also cleared were Provincial Administrator and Bids and Awards Committee Chairman Roger Rapsing and Hexaphil Agriventures Inc. Collector Victoria Ajero.

The anti-graft court's First Division said the "inordinate and oppressive" delay on the part of the Ombudsman was "a violation of the right of the accused to speedy disposition of cases."

The case stemmed from the allegedly unlawful disbursement of funds which formed part of the P728M fertilizer fund allocated for the implementation of the Farm Inputs and Farm Implements Program (FIFIP) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in February 2004 under Notice of Cash Allocation No. 222447-I.