By Czarina Nicole O. Ong
Even after the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division denied the motion to quash filed by former Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn, the latter is still hoping that his 27 criminal charges will still be dropped due to the “unjustified delay” in his prosecution.
In his motion for reconsideration, Hagedorn said that the Supreme Court has always upheld that the adjudication of cases must be done in an “orderly manner” and “promptly decided to better serve the ends of justice.”
The same, he said, should be applied in his nine graft charges, nine breach of conduct charges, and nine perjury cases, said Hagedorn. “Unless this Honorable Court dismisses the case on the ground of the prosecution’s inordinate delay in prosecuting the same, accused’s constitutional guaranteed right to speedy disposition of cases will be rendered nugatory,” his motion read.
Hagedorn’s cases stemmed from failing to correctly declare his real properties, motor vehicles, and business interests in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) from 2004 to 2012.
He argued that he could not be charged simultaneously for the crimes of perjury, graft and breach of conduct because of the prohibition under Section 11 of R.A. 6713, which requires a person be prosecuted for “that which carries the heavier penalty” when he is charged with more than one violation or offense.
“… The accused respectfully prays this Honorable Court to reconsider the assailed resolution dated July 19, 2017 and dismiss the present case against him,” Hagedorn’s motion read.
He argued that the facts charged did not constitute an offense, and it took the prosecution almost three years and five months in conducting the preliminary investigation against him.