Court junks Nani Perez plea vs. gov't evidence in forfeiture raps

By Benjamin Pulta

September 14, 2022, 2:32 pm

MANILA – The Sandiganbayan has turned down the motion for reconsideration filed by former justice secretary Hernando "Nani" Perez and his brother-in-law, businessman Ramon Arceo, asking the court to stop state lawyers from presenting more evidence in the forfeiture case against them.

The anti-graft court's Third Division, in a resolution dated Sept. 9, has denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the accused's lawyers last month questioning Sandiganbayan's July 28, 2022 ruling to allow state lawyers to present additional evidence in the case, which the defense said had been filed beyond the period allowed by the rules.

The state lawyers' pieces of evidence consist of a request for authentication sent by former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales in 2012 to then Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary Albert del Rosario and communications between the prosecution and DFA assistant secretary Jaime Victor Ledda.

The tribunal said procedural lapses may be allowed by courts under the rules for "the full ventilation of the merits of the case" which it said, "would give more efficacy to the constitutional mandate (of the Sandiganbayan) on the accountability of public officers and employees".

The case seeks the recovery of USD2 million which the late Manila congressman Mark Jimenez claimed was received by Perez from him in 2001 in exchange for being excluded in the plunder charges against then President Joseph Estrada. (PNA)