Marinduque governor to face trial for P5M fertilizer fund scam

The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed that there was probable cause to put Marinduque Governor Carmencita Reyes on trial for the alleged misuse of P5 million in fertilizer funds.

In a recent 11-page decision, the SC 2nd Division denied Reyes’s petition questioning the Sandiganbayan’s February 29, 2012 resolution that upheld the validity of the graft and technical malversation charges filed against her.

The case arose from the province’s purchase of a hammermill, a shredding machine, a pelletizer, and a brush chipper in 2004 without the benefit of public bidding and contrary to the purpose of the fund to buy fertilizer.

The SC said Reyes’s request letter and purchase request for the heavy equipment were “enough to engender a well-founded belief that the crime charged may have been committed by Reyes.”

This meant Reyes would have to defend herself after the case finally reaches the trial stage.

The SC also rejected Reyes’s claim that the Ombudsman’s fertilizer fund scam investigations were based on the Senate Blue Ribbon committee report that would have been considered hearsay.

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr.

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