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ISSUE: Whether or not the Sandiganbayan violated Section 27 of Republic Act 6770 when it treated the "Joint Motion for Reconsideration/ Reinvestigation" of Velez as a motion for reconsideration under Section 27 of Republic Act 6770 and when it granted the "Motio
FACTS: Ignacio Salmingo filed an affidavit-criminal complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman against Edwin Velez, mayor of Silay City, et al. for violation of R.A. 3019. After finding probable cause, Ombudsman recommended the filing of information against the malefactors. Velez filed with the Sandiganbayan a joint motion for reconsideration which was granted.
DECISION: No. The Sandiganbayan did not violate R.A. 6770 or AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE FUNCTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
RATIO DECIDENDI: Records show that when the Office of the Ombudsman approved the resolution prepared by the Graft Investigator, the Information was filed prematurely against the respondents. The Office of the Ombudsman must have realized this when Velez et al. filed with the Sandiganbayan their Joint Motion for Reconsideration/Reinvestigation and thus agreed to treat the Motion as a motion for reconsideration under Sec 27 of RA 6770. By its agreement, the Office of the Ombudsman merely corrected itself when it denied the motion for reconsideration/reinvestigation filed by Velez with the Office of the Ombudsman on the sole ground that the Information had already been filed with the Sandiganbayan. The Office of the Ombudsman is vested under the Constitution with investigatory and prosecutorial powers. Said office, through the Special Prosecutor, has direct control over the prosecution of the case. The Office of the Ombudsman merely exercised its investigatory and prosecutorial powers.