Ex-Palawan city mayor’s bid to dismiss malversation raps junked

MANILA For lack of merit, the Sandiganbayan has junked the plea of former Puerto Princesa City mayor Edward Hagedorn to have the malversation charges against him dismissed in connection with the 14 firearms he allegedly failed to account for in 2013.

In a resolution dated last Aug. 31, 2018, the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division denied Hagedorn's motion filed on July 25, 2018, seeking to dismiss the case, stop trial, and recall the warrant of arrest for lack of merit.

A review of the information in this case, as well as the prosecution's aptly presented table, clearly shows no defect in the subject information to warrant a quashal thereof, the anti-graft court's decision said.

The anti-graft court maintained that Hagedorn's invocation of good faith and voluntary return of the firearms is a matter of defense, which is best ventilated during trial.

Wherefore, the Court denies accused-movant Edward S. Hagedorn's 'Omnibus Motion to Quash Information, Hold In Abeyance Further Proceedings and Recall of Warrant of Arrest Motion to Dismiss' for lack of merit, the Sandiganbayan said.

On May 12 this year, the Office of the Ombudsman charged Hagedorn before the Sandiganbayan with malversation of public property for allegedly failing to properly account for 14 firearms in 2013.

The Ombudsman said on July 1, 2013, Hagedorn reportedly took advantage of his official position when he failed to be accountable for the custody of 14 Armalite rifles, all public properties placed under his control and care, valued at PHP490,000.

Hagedorn willfully, unlawfully and feloniously consented and permitted another person to take for his own personal use and benefit the rifles by failing to return them after his term as city mayor, the Ombudsman said.

In his motion, Hagedorn claimed that the rifles were already surrendered and accounted for even before the filing of the case.

He argued that he is not an accountable officer for the rifles, noting that there is no proof that he appropriated, took, or misappropriated the firearms.

He added that the case should be dismissed, such that the facts charged do not constitute an offense since not all elements of malversation are present.

The former mayor said he tracked down the firearms and made arrangements to secure and surrender them to the proper government authorities. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency