Ombudsman questions delay on indicted Senator's suspension

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(File photo) Sen. JV Ejercito

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — State prosecutors on Wednesday ordered the anti-graft court to seek an explanation from the senate as to why an indicted senator has yet to serve his 90-day suspension on graft charges.

In a motion filed with the Sandiganbayan, the Ombudsman noted that it was nearly two months since the anti-graft court's Fifth Division ordered Senator JV Ejercito's suspension on August 22, 2016.

It asked the Sandiganbayan to direct the Office of the Senate President to explain why the suspension imposed on Ejercito "is still not implemented."

It noted that the Ombudsman had yet to receive any notice from the Senate regarding the delay in imposing the suspension.

Ejercito faces a graft case before the Fifth Division of the Sandiganbayan for allegedly authorizing the use of the city of San Juan's calamity fund for the purchase of high powered firearms in 2008.

He was then mayor of San Juan city. Three city government employees were also co-accused by the court.

"To date, the prosecution has not received any notice from either the Office of the Senate President, or the Office of the City Mayor of San Juan that the August 22, 2016 resolution was already implemented," the prosecution said in the motion.

Those charged have filed petitions before the Supreme Court questioning the validity of the case.

But the prosecution said it was no reason not to implement the suspension due to the lack of a preliminary injunction from the high court.

Ejercito has a separate technical malversation case before the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division over the same alleged offense.

The same anti-graft court also allowed the indicted senator to join President Rodrigo Duterte on his state visit to Japan from October 25 to 27.