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Sandiganbayan junks Yap’s motion to quash graft raps

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The Sandiganbayan 6th Division has junked the motion of House Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap to quash the graft case against him concerning irregularities in the car loan plans for employees at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

The anti-graft court pointed out that the arguments raised by Yap would be better ventilated in a full-blown trial.

Because of this, the court declared that his graft trial should proceed.

Under the charges, the then PhilRice board of trustees allegedly favored 10 employees as beneficiaries for the institute’s car plan from 2008 to 2009. At that time Yap was agriculture secretary.

This allowed the 10 beneficiaries to obtain personal loans from the Philippine National Bank (PNB) for the purchase of private cars which were then leased to PhilRice for the employees’ official use even though they already receive transportation allowances.

The Office of the Ombudsman which filed the case also found that two loan recipients allegedly signed hold out agreements with PNB over the car plan which prevented PhilRice to withdraw funds from its account until the loans were paid in full.

In his motion, Yap argued that he was not present during the PhilRice board meeting when the car loan plans were granted.