The Daily Manila Shimbun


Sandiganbayan junks plea from prosecs to reverse dismissal of graft vs Lorenzo, Bolante

February 14, 2017

The Sandiganbayan denied a motion for reconsideration by the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP) seeking to reverse the dismissal of a plunder case against former Agriculture Secretary Luis Ramon Lorenzo, Undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, and six others

In an eight-page resolution promulgated February 6, 2017 but released Tuesday, the anti-graft court’s Second Division denied the plea by the OSP seeking reversal of the November 28, 2016 ruling.

“In its motion for reconsideration, the prosecution (OSP) ignorantly accuses this Court of going beyond its authority to determine probable cause for the purpose of the issuance of warrants of arrest. Lest the prosecution forgets, there is in our jurisdiction no rule or

Jurisprudence that compels the Court to adopt in toto the findings of the public prosecutor,” the Sandiganbayan said.

In its November 28 decision, the Sandiganbayan held Bolante was the “central key player” in the P723 million fertilizer fund scam but prosecutors failed to submit any proof that he amassed ill-gotten gains of P50 million,  the threshold for a plunder charge.

Thus the court ordered the case dismissed against Bolante and Lorenzo and their co-accused former assistant secretary Ibarra Poliquit, and private defendants Jaime Paule, Marilyn Araos, Joselito Flordeliza, Marites Aytona, and Leoncia Marco-Llanera.

Bolante is accused of funneling P728 million in fertilizer funds to the 2004 election campaign of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Charges were filed against him, Lorenzo and six others before the Sandiganbayan in 2011. DMS