Sandiganbayan denies prosecution plea for rearrest of Edgar Valdez

The Sandiganbayan has denied the plea of Ombudsman prosecutors for former Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) Party-list Rep. Edgar Valdez to be arrested again.

Prosecutors had cited the Sandiganbayan 5th Division’s denial of Valdez and businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles’s demurrers to the evidence in their P57.79-million plunder case in connection with the pork barrel scam. This meant the evidence presented during the trial would be strong enough to convict the two if they failed to rebut it.

It may be recalled that Valdez was allowed to post a P1.5-million bail on April 13, 2016, after the court found the prosecution’s evidence not strong enough to justify their indefinite detention. At the time, the case had not yet gone to trial.

But, in a recent 9-page resolution, the court said the denial of their demurrers would not justify recalling the grant of bail nearly four years ago.

The court said the intention of bail was to guarantee Valdez’s appearance as required, and he indeed “religiously attended the proceedings.”

“Going to the substantive issues, Valdez correctly pointed out that there is no basis to recall the grant of bail,” read the resolution penned by Associate Justice Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega.

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