The Supreme Court upheld a 90-day preventive suspension on Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, a few days before Congress will resume its session on Monday.
Ejercito’s suspension, ruled by the Sandiganbayan Fifth Divison, concerns the purchase of firearms using calamity funds when he was mayor of San Juan City in 2008.
In a September 14, 2016 resolution, but only received by the Sandiganbayan Friday, the SC ruled that the anti-graft court did not commit any abuse of discretion in suspending Ejercito pending litigation of his graft case.
“After a judicious review of the records, the Court resolves to dismiss the instant petition and affirm the Aug. 22, 2016 resolution of the Sandiganbayan’s fifth division… for failure of petitioners Joseph Victor G. Ejercito, Ranulfo BA Dacalos, and Romualdo delos Santos to show that the Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion… in suspending them pendente lite for a period of ninety (90) days,” the SC said.
The High Court said the Sandiganbayan correctly ruled that under Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, suspension is mandatorily imposed on any incumbent public official charged validly for violation of the anti-graft law. DMS