To emphasize it is incumbent for the state to prove

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To emphasize, it is incumbent for the State to prove that the delay was reasonable, or that the delay was not attributable to it. In both regards, the State miserably failed. For one, the State explains that the criminal cases could not be immediately filed in court primarily because of the insufficiency of the evidence to establish probable cause, like not having a document showing that the
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POLITICAL LAW CASE DIGESTS 182 funds (worth US$1,999,965.00 as averred in the complaint of Cong. Jimenez) had reached Secretary Perez; and that it could not obtain the document, and to enable it to obtain the document and other evidence it needed to await the ratification of the Agreement Concerning Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters with the Hongkong Special Administrative Region (RP-HKSAR Agreement), and the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Republic of the Philippines and the Swiss Confederation (RP-Swiss MLAT). To us, however, the State’s dependence on the ratification of the two treaties was not a sufficient justification for the delay. The fact- finding investigation had extended from January 15, 2003, when Ombudsman Marcelo approved the recommendation of the Special Panel and referred the complaint of Cong. Jimenez for fact-finding investigation, until November 14, 2005, when the FIO completed its fact-finding investigation. That period accounted for a total of two years and 10 months. In addition, the FIO submitted its report only on November 14, 2005, which was after the Department of Justice had received on September 8, 2005 the letter from Wayne Walsh, the Deputy Government Counsel of the Hongkong Special Administrative Region in response to the request for assistance dated June 23, 2005, and the reply of the Office of Justice of Switzerland dated February 10, 2005 and a subsequent letter dated February 21, 2005 from Liza Favre, the Ambassador of Switzerland, to Atty. Melchor Arthur Carandang, Acting Assistant Ombudsman, FIO, together with documents pertaining to the bank accounts relevant to the investigation. For the Office of the Ombudsman to mark time until the HKSAR Agreement and the Swiss-RP MLAT were ratified by the Senate before it would proceed with the preliminary investigation was oppressive, capricious and vexatious, because the respondents were thereby subjected to a long and unfair delay. We should frown on the reason for the inordinate delay because the State would thereby deliberately gain an advantage over the respondents during the preliminary investigation. At no time should the progress and success of the preliminary investigation of a criminal case be made dependent upon the ratification of a treaty by the Senate that would provide to the prosecutorial arm of the State, already powerful and overwhelming in terms of its resources, an undue advantage unavailable at the time of the investigation. To allow the delay under those terms would definitely violate fair play and nullify due process of law fair play, because the field of contest between the accuser and the accused
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