Ex-LTFRB official to face graft trial

The Sandiganbayan upheld its earlier decision to proceed with the trial of former Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) executive director Samuel Aloysius Jardin over alleged receipt of P4.6 million bribe money.

The anti-graft court said Jardin’s appeal to dismiss the case lacked merit.

In a 12-page Resolution, the court said that the CCTV footage presented by Jardin in court, which did not show him receiving such bribe money, does not negate the prosecution’s allegation that he received the P4.6 million cash.

The money allegedly came from a certain Michelle Sapangila in exchange for the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience.

The Sandiganbayan also cited the court testimony of Sapangila who said that she gave the money in the comfort room, and not in the area captured by the CCTV footage.

“With respect to the quashal of the Information, the accused’s arguments are merely substantial reiterations of those in his previous Motion to Quash and Motion to Suspend Proceedings. The Court had already considered such arguments and found them to be without merit in the assailed Resolution [dated June 13, 2023],” the Sandiganbayan said.

In addition, the anti-graft court said that Jardin was given the opportunity to respond to the charges against him and that he actively participated in the preliminary investigation by submitting his Verified Answer/Counter Affidavit and supporting evidence.

The court argued that after the issuance of the Ombudsman’s Resolution dated December 22, 2020 finding probable cause to indict the accused in court, Jardin was given the opportunity to seek reconsideration of the same, and he filed his Motion for Reconsideration.

“It cannot be said that the accused was deprived of his right to due process,” the court said.

“In fine, the accused failed to convince this Court that the reversal of the assailed Resolution is warranted. Wherefore, the accused’s Motion for Reconsideration is hereby denied for lack of merit,” the Sandiganbayan added.–LDF, GMA Integrated News

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