After finding sufficient prima facie evidence against petitioner and his co-accused, an information was filed for economic sabotage through smuggling. Years later, respondent Sandiganbayan denied petitioner’s motion for an immediate and separate title.
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to a separate trial.
YES. A separate trial is in consonance with the right of an accused to a speedy trial. The resulting inconvenience and expense on the part of the Government cannot be given preference over the right to speedy trial and the protection to a person’s life, liberty or property.
Respondents are ORDERED to proceed with the trial, separate if it need be.