By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr. and Angel Ayala
SORSOGON CITY, 4Feb2014 (BicolToday.com) – Unfazed by the resolution of the Sandiganbayan ordering his suspension for ninety (90) days in connection with SB-11-CRM-0036-39, Sorsogon Governor Raul Lee’s legal team is preparing a motion for reconsideration within the prescribed period.
In an exclusive interview with BicolToday.com, Lee said that all legal options will be availed. He believes that his appeal will be considered by the graft court. “We have equal protection of the law guaranteed by the constitution.”
The case was filed at the Ombudsman back in 2003, the investigation took six years. By 2009 the Sandiganbayan took cognizance of the case for violation of Sec 3(e) and (g), of Republic Act 3019 as amended.
RA 3019, The ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT reads:
Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.
(g) Entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby.
“It is not my end with the issuance of the resolution. Clearly the order implies a finality of their ruling which means that the courts first division is waiting for my appeal. That is in their level and I can still file a certiorari at the Supreme Court if ever the Sandiganbayan denies my motion”, Lee said.
Addressing his political detractors, he said “that it is only the court who can determine the date of serving a suspension order, challenging “political wannabes” to speak the truth instead of maliciously omitting the exact words of the dispositive portion of the resolution.”
Radio broadcast will not suspend me, a reference to a local radio station who is a staunch critic of my leadership, he added.
The dispositive portion reads:
“WHEREFORE, premises considered, accused RAUL R. LEE’s second Motion to Quash, or to dismiss the above-captioned cases, is DENIED, and Plaintiff’s Motion to Suspend Accused pendent lite is hereby GRANTED. The Court hereby orders the suspension pendent lite of accused RAUL R. LEE from his position as of the Province of Sorsogon, and from any public office he may now or hereafter be for the period of ninety (90) days effective upon notice.”
“Let copy of this Resolution be furnished the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), who is directed to implement this Order, upon notice of the finality of this ruling”.
When asked if he perceived that there is a political hand regarding his pending cases at the Sandiganbayan, the governor said he does not want to believe that it will be the basis of the Sandiganbayan justices in deciding his case.
Associate Justices Rafael Lagos, Efren de la Cruz and Rodolfo Ponferrada of the Sandiganbayan First Division signed the order of January 14 this year. [BicolToday.com]