Graft court asked to declare validity of criminal raps vs Catamco, et al

  • Written by RPP
  • Published in Nation
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THE prosecution panel asked the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division to declare the validity of the criminal cases against a Mindanao congresswoman and others over the alleged anomalous procurement of P5 million worth of fertilizer in 2004.

Earlier, the Office of the Ombudsman filed two counts of malversation of public funds and one count of violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against North Cotabato Rep. Nancy Catamco, her former husband Pompey Perez, and former Poro, Cebu municipal mayor Edgar Rama.

In a comment, Prosecution Bureau 13 acting director Karen Funelas and assistant special prosecutor Ma. Theresa Amylita B. Vargas moved for the dismissal of separate motions to quash filed by Catamco, Rama, and Sangguniang Bayan member William Surbano based on a single issue alleging inordinate delay in the investigation conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman.

The pendency of motions were cited by the court in ordering a deferment of the arraignment of all accused scheduled last June 22.

Prosecutors alleged conspiracy among the defendants to defraud the municipal government through an anomalous procurement of P5 million worth of Vitacrop liquid organic fertilizer in 2004.

At the time of the alleged commission of the offense, Catamco was a private individual going by “Nancy Perez” representing supplier-contractor, Perzebros Company together with co-defendant Pompey Perez.

Catamco claimed there was a delay of over 12 years considering that the Commission on Audit (CoA) issued a Notices of Disallowance (NDs) on the said transaction 2005.

Rama and Surbano, on the other hand, argued that the count should start from July 2004 when the CoA issued an audit observation memorandum (AOM) on the subject supply contract.