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Syjuco springs free in fertilizer fund scam case, thanks to Ombudsman


Former TESDA chief and Iloilo 2nd District Cong. Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco must be jumping like a chimpanzee in glee after the Sandiganbayan 1st Division dismissed a graft case against him and several others arising from the fertilizer fund scam in 2004 in which P3.25 million was siphoned to his NGO.

boboy syjuco

Photo credit: Getty Images

This news came out yesterday just a day after I wrote a blog post entitled, “Where is Boboy Syjuco” in which I mentioned he is now undergoing treatment in Singapore, and is forced to seek a permit to travel each he goes there. It was Bombo John Talento who broke the news to me this morning, just as I arrived from an hour-long walk and interviewed me to get my reaction.

Here’s one of the stories that came out: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/03/22/18/sandiganbayan-dismisses-syjuco-graft-case-much-to-its-regret

It’s really a big let-down for me. I had fought Syjuco’s corruption since 2004 when I was still Provincial Administrator, exposing his many anomalies as congressman and then as TESDA Director General. To my recollection I had filed a total of six criminal complaints against him. Four of these cases reached the Sandiganbayan while the other two are pending resolution.

Sadly, what Syjuco’s lawyers have raised — the inordinate delay in the resolution of the cases — is true. It took the Ombudsman 12 long years to indict Syjuco. I agree that this violates his right to speedy justice. What is regrettable is that there is abundant evidence that could have established the guilt of Syjuco. Now all of these were wasted, all because the Ombudsman did not carry out its work right. Even the Sandiganbayan 1st Division expressed its regrets having to dismiss the case.

It pains me even more because the Ombudsman dispatched the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) case in five (5) months in 2015. It swept aside glaring evidence on the anomalies for the project and declared the respondents led by Senator Franklin Drilon as innocent of wrongdoing. The Ombudsman said I had no evidence to back up my charges.

 

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About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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