Sandigan junks plunder case vs Joc-joc Bolante
The Sandiganbayan Second Division has dismissed the plunder case against former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-joc” Bolante over the P723-million fertilizer fund scam.
In a resolution, the antigraft court said that even as it gave prosecutors the chance to bolster the case through a new state witness, they failed to provide evidence that would actually link Bolante to the plunder.
“There is no document and/or testimony submitted to establish that accused Bolante received this unliquidated amount so as to make him probably guilty of the crime of plunder,” the court said in granting his motion to junk this case.
Prosecutors tried to bolster the case by dropping Jose Barredo Jr. as an accused and presenting him as a witness to the conspiracy to plunder the funds.
But the court maintained that Barredo was only able to testify against the modus operandi of the alleged scheme but not the involvement of Bolante and the other accused officials.
The resolution was approved by Justices Samuel R. Martires, Michael Frederick L. Musngi and Geraldine Faith A. Econg. RAM/rga