MANILA—Senator Jose Victor “JV” Ejercito has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the prosecution of graft charges filed against him before the Sandiganbayan.
In his petition filed with the SC dated April 20, 2016, Ejercito prayed that the SC must dismiss the findings of the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) against him for issuing the same with grave abuse of discretion.
Ejercito was charged along with 19 others with technical malversation and graft before the Sandiganbayan for the purchase of firearms with HK Tactical Defense System Inc. (HKTDSI) on May 23, 2008 without the benefit of public bidding.
“After due proceedings, a decision issue granting the petition and ….annulling the Office of the Ombudsman’s joint order dated December 29, 2015 in OMB-C-C-14-0514 for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction,” the petition said.
Aside from Ejercito, also joining him as petitioners are his co-accused Leonardo Celles, Andoni Carballo, Vincent Pacheco, Dante Santiago, Grace Pardines, Francis Peralta, Eduardo Soriano, Jannah Ejercito-Surla, Joseph Torralba, Ranulfo Dacalos, Rosalinda Marasigan, Romualdo Delos Santos, Lorenza Ching and Danilo Mercado, all San Juan City officials.
Ejercito and his group also pleaded with the SC to order the Sandiganbayan Fifth and Sixth Divisions to dismiss the criminal charges filed against them for lack of merit.
For his immediate plea, Ejercito asked the SC to issue a “temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction issued preventing the Sandiganbayan’s 5th and 6th Divisions, and the Office of the Ombudsman from further proceeding.”
“Further, without injunctive relief, petitioners will be forced to allot time and energy for the criminal cases, thereby depriving the country of the full attention of one of its Senators and San Juan City of almost all of its highest ranking public officers,” the petition added.
The petition alleged that the charges of the Ombudsman of conspiracy is absent and “there is no proof of any overt act done by the petitioners that will indicate a common intention, plan or design to commit the crimes for which they were indicted.”
“The facts show that HKTDSI actually delivered the firearms to San Juan City in the amount and quantity specified in the contract. There was no proof adduced to show that the HKTDSI supplied the firearms grossly above the prevailing market value or that another person or entity should have provided the firearms in a much lower rate. There is thus no undue injury caused to San Juan City or any other person,” it added.