Sandiganbayan Starts Cases Against JV Ejercito in Fifth and Sixth Division
The fifth division of the Sandiganbayan, the same division that is currently handling the cases of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, JV Ejercito's half-brother, will also be overseeing the cases against Ejercito for charges of graft over anomalous alleged purchases of firearms.
The fifth division was picked to handle one count of graft against Ejercito and his five co-accused during a raffle of the case on Friday. The division, composed of three members, is led by Associate Justice Roland Jurado. Meanwhile, Associate Justice Rafael Lagos serves as senior member. Associate Justice Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega is also a junior member.
The names of the co-accused with JV Ejercito are administrator Ranulfo Dacalos, treasurer Rosalinda Marasigan, city attorney Romualdo Delos Santos, city budget officer Lorenza Ching and city engineer Danilo Mercardo. All are members of the San Juan City Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
On the sixth division, led by Associate Justice Rodolfo Ponferrada with Associate Justices Oscar Herrera Jr. and Karl Miranda as senior member and junior member, respectively, the said division will handle another case against Ejercito. The case on one count of illegal use of public funds (technical malversation) has been filed against Ejercito and his 14 co-accused. The names of the 14 co-accused are as follows: incumbent vice mayor Franciso Zamora, former vice-mayor Leonardo Celles and former city councilors Andoni Carballo, Vincent Pacheco, Angelino Mendoza, Dante Santiago, Rolando Bernardo, Grace Pardines, Domingo Sese, Francis Peralta, Edgardo Soriano, Jannah Ejercito-Surla, Ramon Nakpil and Joseph Christopher Torralba.
The former San Juan city mayor is facing charges for using the city's calamity fund to purchase high powered fire arms. The money came from the city government’s calamity fund, even though there was no state of calamity at that time. The Ombudsman also said that the purchases were made in haste as there was no public bidding nor examination of the supplier's qualifications and details.
Ejercito denies these charges, and labels them as "politically motivated".