THE SANDIGANBAYAN has rejected the motions for reconsideration (MR) filed by Palawan provincial government officials in their bid to be absolved of charges related to the 2008 Malampaya fund scam.

In a 13-page consolidated resolution dated April 2, 2024, the Sandiganbayan Second Division denied all the motions that sought to review and/or reverse the resolutions issued by the anti-graft court last January, which already denied their bids to have the graft cases against them dismissed.

The resolutions handed down last January junked the separate bids of Palawan provincial engineers Romeo C. Llacuna and Bernard I. Zambales, and state auditing agency senior technical audit specialist Ronelo O. del Socorro to have the graft raps against them dropped on various grounds.

“All things considered, there being no new or additional arguments or compelling reasons raised by the accused-movants to warrant a reconsideration… the denial of their motions… for lack of merit is in order,” read part of the consolidated resolution penned by Associate Justice Arthur O. Malabaguio.

The Malampaya fund scam, which entailed the alleged misappropriation of Palawan’s royalty shares amounting to over P1.5 billion, had prompted that the Office of the Ombudsman to file over 150 graft cases against dozens of government officials and employees, among them the accused-movants in this Sandiganbayan resolution.

Associate Justices Oscar C. Herrera, Jr. and Edgardo M. Caldona concurred with the resolution denying the MRs. The resolution is posted in the official website of the Sandiganbayan. – Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio