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Tuloy ang kaso: Sandiganbayan upholds Treñas’ indictment

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The Sandiganbayan 7th Division has upheld the graft indictment of Iloilo City Representative Geronimo Trenas over the illegal construction of the office of the Iloilo Press Club (IPC) in 2003.

In its resolution, the anti-graft court did not accept the argument of Trenas that the Office of the Ombudsman violated his constitutional right for the speedy disposition his case when it took almost two decades before the graft case was filed before the Sandiganbayan.

The court explained the period of the investigation conducted by the Ombudsman should be counted from the time a complaint was filed on Nov. 12, 2012 up to the filing of charges on Nov. 7, 2017.

The Sandiganbayan also pointed out that the five-year investigation conducted by the Ombudsman is justified since “correspondences were sent to different government agencies concerned to secure documents, which necessarily consumed a considerable amount of time.”

Under the case, Trenas is accused of giving unwarranted benefit to the IPC when he gave the organization a total of P500,000 from 2003 to 2004 when he was still mayor.

The fund had been used to fund the construction of the IPC office.

The Ombudsman pointed out the funding shouldn’t have been done since the IPC is not among the non-government organizations accredited by the city government.

Because of this, the Ombudsman said Treñas violated the rules of the Commission on Audit (COA).