Sandigan enters not guilty plea for Andaya


Former Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. refused to enter a plea during his arraignment on cases involving 97 counts of graft and 97 counts of malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents related to the alleged misuse of P900 in million Malampaya Funds.

During the formal reading of the information against Andaya, Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang entered a not guilty plea for the former legislator on all his cases following Section 1(c) of Rule 116 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Previously, co-accused businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, together with her children Jo Christine and James Christopher Napoles as well as her brothers, Reynald and Ronald Francisco Lim, also refused to enter a plea on the same charges prompting the Sandiganbayan to follow the same Court rules.

After their arraignment, the Sandiganbayan set the pre-trial of their cases on 9 August.

The pre-marking of evidence from all the accused except Andaya has been completed urging the former Budget Secretary’s camp to pre-mark their evidence on 24 to 26 this July.

Andaya’s arraignment was delayed due to the motion to quash that he filed before the Court and the petition for certiorari with a prayer for a temporary restraining order before the Supreme Court.

Cabotaje-Tang, who chairs the Sandiganbayan Third Division, said that since there is no pending legal obstacle, the Court proceeded with the arraignment.

Andaya refused to entertain media interviews after his arraignment.