Supreme Court acquits former Agriculture chief Arthur Yap in pork barrel case

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of former Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, clearing him of graft and malversation charges related to the alleged misuse of congressional pork barrel funds from 2007 to 2009. The decision, made public on May 16, dismissed four criminal cases filed against Yap before Sandiganbayan’s Third Division. Yap was initially charged in 2017 for signing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Department of Agriculture and the National Agribusiness Corp., as well as an addendum releasing funds from a lawmaker’s Priority Development Assistance Fund to a foundation. The high court cited the absence of crucial elements in the case against Yap and emphasized that his actions did not show partiality or bad faith. The Supreme Court also upheld the validity of the MOA, pointing out that Yap had no discretion to deny the fund transfer request. Additionally, the court criticized the Sandiganbayan for not acknowledging the delay in the Ombudsman’s investigation.

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