Jun 242013
Government prosecutors have asked the Sandiganbayan Second Division to order the suspension of outgoing Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia anew following the objections raised by her lawyers.

In a reply, the prosecutors said Garcia could no longer formally challenge the validity of criminal informations filed against her as it was done almost two months after her arraignment.

“(I)t is respectfully submitted that the Motion to Quash… was not filed within a reasonable time,” the prosecutors said, adding the filing of the motion by Garcia’s lawyers “creates an impression that she is using the Rules to unduly delay the proceedings.”

In a motion filed last June 5, the prosecution moved for Garcia’s suspension, but her lawyers argued in a June 19 motion that she still has a pending motion to quash precisely challenging the validity of her indictment.
But according to the prosecutors, Garcia’s motion requires an evaluation and appreciation of evidence that may only be presented during a trial.
Garcia is facing two counts of graft and one count of malversation concerning allegations of fraud in the provincial government’s purchase of a 24.92-hectare property in 2008 for close to P94 million. Graft investigators later found out that approximately 80 percent of the property known as the Balili Estate lies underwater.

Garcia, who won as congresswoman in the May 13 elections, will serve as Cebu governor until June 30, the same day her three-year term as a legislator starts.
In an earlier petition, Garcia said the motion to suspend, which came after she served a six-month suspension by the government over a different case, is meant to “further embarrass and harass” her. — KBK, GMA News

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