Ampatuan’s demurrer plea junked by court
The Sandiganbayan has denied the plea of Andal Ampatuan Jr. for permission to file a demurrer against his P22.37-million graft and falsification charges, finding the case presented by the Ombudsman to be strong so far.
In a seven-page resolution dated Sept. 4, the court’s Fifth Division said Andal could not cut the trial short and would have to present evidence in his defense to refute the prosecution and avoid being sentenced.
This was because the prosecution’s evidence during the trial “appear[s] to be prima facie sufficient to warrant the conviction of the accused beyond reasonable doubt … unless effectively controverted by evidence for the accused.”
The case for eight counts each of graft and falsification involved the Maguindanao provincial government’s purchase of 614,650 liters of diesel worth P22.37 million from Shariff Aguak Petron gas station in 2009.
Andal owned the gas station, while his brother, Sajid Islam Uy Ampatuan, was acting governor at the time.
The court said this allegation was “proven by documents,” such as invoices, purchase orders, disbursement vouchers and official receipts.
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