Hagedorn seeks dismissal of graft raps

By Elizabeth Marcelo

MANILA, Philippines - Former Puerto Princesa City mayor Edward Hagedorn has sought the dismissal of graft and perjury charges filed against him, saying the Office of the Ombudsman violated his right to a speedy trial.

In a seven-page motion for reconsideration filed before the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division recently, Hagedorn urged the anti-graft court to reconsider its July 19 ruling denying his motion to quash the charges.

Hagedorn is facing nine counts each of graft, perjury and violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

The charges, filed in March by the ombudsman, stemmed from Hagedorn’s alleged false declaration in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) from 2004 to 2012.

The ombudsman said Hagedorn failed to declare ownership of 59 residential, commercial and agricultural properties and 45 vehicles as well as his positions in six companies, including the Puerto Princesa Broadcasting Corp.

In his appeal, Hagedorn said the prosecution panel failed to justify why it took them almost four years to finish the investigation of the complaint against him.

He said the charges were filed only in March this year when the ombudsman started the preliminary investigation in October 2013.

He said all the charges must be dismissed due to the inordinate delay by the ombudsman in filing the cases.

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