- Senator Joseph JV Ejercito and other co-accused were ordered to be arrested by the Sixth Division of the Sandiganbayan
- Outgoing San Juan City mayor Francisco Zamora and former city councilors Angelino Mendoza and Rolando Bernardo each posted their bails Wednesday morning
- Zamora said that he is confident they will win the case
The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division has called for the arrest of Senator Joseph JV Ejercito for a technical malversation case in connection with the alleged anomalous purchase of high-powered firearms in 2008.
Outgoing San Juan City mayor Francisco Zamora was also ordered to be arrested together with Ejercito and 13 others.
The Sixth Division said in a ruling made last June 20, there is sufficient ground to call for the arrest of Ejercito, Zamora, and the other former officials of San Juan to hold them on trial. The copy of the ruling was released to the Media on Wednesday.
READ ALSO: Mar Roxas submits SOCE
The resolution read, “After going over the Information [of the case] and evaluating the Resolution of the Office of the Ombudsman, the evidence in support thereof and the records of the preliminary investigation attached thereto, the Court finds probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest against the accused.”
Earlier this year, Ejercito and his co-accused filed motions for judicial determination of probable cause with a prayer to dismiss the case, but were denied by the court. The court declared that the motions raised “are but matters of defense that are best addressed during the trial of this case and/or considered in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused.”
“The judicial determination of probable cause is one made by the judge to ascertain whether a warrant of arrest should be issued against the accused…It may be stressed that probable cause does not equate with proof beyond reasonable doubt,” the court explained.
Ejercito’s co-accused Outgoing San Juan City mayor Francisco Zamora, and former city councilors Angelino Mendoza and Rolando Bernardo each posted P6,000 bail bond Wednesday morning, in exchange of their liberty.
The senator said in a text message that he wanted the trial to start immediately to prove his innocence.
"I am very optimistic that I will be acquitted of these charges. I want trial to start right away. We will not cause any delay as I want to clear my name as soon as possible," he said.
Meanwhile, according to reports, Zamora, after posting his bail said that he is confident that they will be acquitted of the case. The former city council defended that he and other city councils should not have been included in the case to begin with, “we cannot be charged with technical malversation because we are not accountable officers. Wala kaming hawak na pera at wala din kaming dini-disburse na pera,” he explained.
Zamora also said that because they are not part of the executive body, they don’t hold and disburse funds.
The case was derived from an anomalous transaction that involved a P2.1 million purchase of high-powered firearms. This was during Ejercito’s term as San Juan City mayor.
RECOMMENDED: JV Ejercito supports Duterte’s choice