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Sandigan turns down ex-Philpost chief quashal attempt

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by Allan Yves Briones

The Sandiganbayan 5th Division nixed four separate motions to quash filed by former Philippine Postal Service Corporation (Philpost) postmaster general Ma. Josefina Dela Cruz in relation to her graft charges.

Dela Cruz faces criminal action for violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 and Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code for making unlawful appointments.

On September 1, 2011, the former Philpost chief allegedly gave “unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference” in appointing Esther Cabigao to director, against the invalidation of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) grounded on the latter’s reported lack of qualifications.

On November 29 2013, Dela Cruz repeated the same, this time appointing Cabigao as a department manager, also contested by the CSC.

In her motions to quash, the former postmaster general argued that the prosecution’s wording of the information deprived her of her right to be informed of her charges.

“(The information) fatally fails to allege among the myriad of legal mass, what specific ‘existing laws, rules and regulations’ what specific provision(s) therein, served as basis for the prosecution’s conclusion of the appointee’s lack of qualification,” the motion read, as quoted by the anti-graft court.

However, the court held that the nature of the information is not so.

“It is clear as day that the offenses charged herein are for violations of Sec. 3(e) of RA 3019 and Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code for lack of qualification of the appointee,” the court said.

The resolution was written by Division Chairperson Rafael Lagos, concurred by Associate Justices Ma. Theresa Mendoza-Arcega and Maryann Corpus-Mañalac. #

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