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Ejercito’s co-accused suspended for 90 days

The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division has issued a 90-day suspension order against San Juan Sangguniang Panglungsod members Leonardo G. Celles and Vincent Rainier Pacheco together with Public Information Officer Grace C. Pardines.

The three public officials are co-accused of Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito in the illegal use of public funds charges.

They are facing technical malversation case in connection with the anomalous purchase of firearms worth P2.1 million for the city’s police department back in 2008 when Ejercito was still mayor of San Juan City.

Prosecution cited Section 13 of R.A. 3019 which states that “any public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act or under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on bribery is pending in court, shall be suspended from office.”

The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division only “partially granted” the motion to have these officials suspended.

While Celles, Pacheco and Pardines have been slapped with suspension orders, the motion against Ejercito has been denied.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary was furnished with a copy of the resolution.

Earlier this August, the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division also imposed a 90-day suspension on Ejercito for violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 for the same anomalous firearms deal. (Czarina Nicole O. Ong)