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Court defers arrest of North Cotabato gov April 29,2016 - 11:27 AM

THE Sandiganbayan First Division yesterday deferred the issuance of a warrant of arrest against North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza in connection with her graft case involving the alleged anomalous procurement of fuel from her mother’s gasoline station.

In a court hearing,  division chair Associate Justice Efren Dela Cruz received the Mendoza camp’s motion for the court to judicially determine probable cause, taking back its indictment against Mendoza to hold her on trial.

Mendoza’s lawyer Thea Daep said she had not received a copy of the court’s ruling finding probable cause against Mendoza.

Dela Cruz gave the prosecution 10 days to comment on Mendoza’s motion for judicial determination of probable cause. Mendoza’s camp was given five days to reply thereafter.

This means the court took back its resolution released Tuesday finding probable cause against Mendoza that gave way to the issuance of an arrest warrant.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales earlier found probable cause to charge Mendoza on three counts of graft or violations of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The Ombudsman said Mendoza authorized the release of P2.4 million from the provincial funds to pay for 49,526.72 liters of fuel used for one road grader and four dump trucks utilized during the two-day road rehabilitation projects.

But no public bidding was conducted and, instead, the provincial government directly contracted for fuel with a gas station owned by Mendoza’s mother.

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TAGS: North Cotabato

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