Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. 128055 April 18, 2001
MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, petitioner,
SANDIGANBAYAN, FRANCIS E. GARCHITORENA, JOSE S. BALAJADIA AND MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO, AS PRESIDING JUSTICE AND MEMBERS OF THE FIRST DIVISION, respondents.
The Court is called upon to review the act of the Sandiganbayan, and how far it can go, in ordering the preventive suspension of petitioner, Mme. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, in connection with pending in criminal cases filed against her for alleged violation of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The instant case arose from complaints filed by a group of employees of the Commission of Immigration and Deportation (CID) against petitioner, then CID Commissioner, for alleged violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The investigating panel, that took over the case from investigator Gualberto dela Llana after having been constituted by the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon upon petitioner’s request, came up with a resolution which it referred, for approval, to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Ombudsman. In his Memorandum, dated 26 April 1991, the Ombudsman directed the OSP to file the appropriate informations against petitioner. On 13 May 1991, OSP submitted to the Ombudsman the informations for clearance; approved, forthwith, three informations were filed on even date.
In Criminal Case No. 16698 filed before the Sandiganbayan, petitioner was indicted thusly: