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Time:2022-09-26 13:29:40 source:free spins slots lv

The Sandiganbayan has approved the plea for lesser offense manifested by former Iloilo 2nd District Rep. Judy J. Syjuco on her graft and malversation charges involving P5.96 million.

However, the anti-graft court deferred its formal grant of Syjuco’s plea bargaining until the amount of P5.96 million is fully returned to the government.

With the approval of the prosecution, there are criminal charges that can be subject to plea bargaining or “a process of negotiation between the prosecution and defense in a criminal case whereby the accused – in return for leniency or a lighter sentence – agrees to plead guilty to a lesser offense.”

Syjuco was charged with violations of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Article 217 in relation to Articles 171 and 48 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) on malversation of public funds.

The charges arose from her purchase of 1,582 units of Nokia 1100 phones worth P5,964,859.09 for Region VI in 2005 allegedly without public bidding.

In her plea bargaining agreement with the prosecution, Syjuco manifested she will plead guilty to the lesser offenses of frauds against public treasury under Article 213, Paragraph 1, and failure to render account by an accountable officer under Article 218 of the RPC.

“After due consideration, we find the motions meritorious,” the Sandiganbayan’s third division said in a resolution dated last Sept. 1.

“We thus find that the allegations in the Informations (criminal charge sheets) filed against accused Syjuco are sufficient to hold her liable for the lesser offense.”

The court noted that the prosecution has imposed a pre-condition to its conformity to the plea bargaining agreement that Syjuco should restitute the amount of P5,964,859.09 first.

“The approval of the said plea bargaining agreement is premature at this time,” it said.

“Wherefore, the Court hereby holds in abeyance the grant of the motion for plea bargaining (with offer to pay civil liabilities) dated Jan. 7, 2022 filed by accused Judy Jalbuena Syjuco and the Joint Motion to Approve Attached Plea Bargaining Agreement dated July 21, 2022 filed by the prosecution and accused Syjuco, and approval of the plea bargaining agreement dated June 1, 2022 between the prosecution and Syjuco,” the court ruled.

The resolution was written by Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang with the concurrence of Associate Justices Bernelito R. Fernandez and Ronald B. Moreno.