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Metro Briefs: Nov. 7, 2018

05:01 AM November 07, 2018

Court finds evidence sufficient vs ex-Malabon City official

The Sandiganbayan has rejected the plea of former Malabon City human resources and management development department head Edgardo Casimero to let him challenge the sufficiency of the Ombudsman’s evidence in his case over the alleged padding of employees’ payroll in 2013.

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“After a careful study of the documentary and testimonial evidence presented by the prosecution, the Court finds that, if unrebuffed, the same is sufficient to support a verdict of guilt with respect to accused…,” read the Oct. 26 resolution penned by Associate Justice Sarah Jane T. Fernandez.

The court said Casimero could still file his demurrer without leave of court but this would waive his right to present evidence in his defense and submit “this case for judgment on the basis of the evidence adduced by the prosecution.”

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Casimero was charged with six counts each of graft and estafa through falsification over the alleged overpayment of P1.4 million in salaries credited to then administrative aide VI Rosalie Bernardo and former administrative officer II Rosa Vilma de Jesus.

Casimero claimed there was no proof he signed the vouchers or benefited from the overpayment of salaries, but the court disregarded his arguments. —Vince F. Nonato

Pasay drug bust results back PDEA chief’s claim

There may be  truth to the claim of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief, Director General Aaron Aquino, that an oversupply of “shabu” (crystal meth) has caused street prices to plummet.

On Monday afternoon, PDEA and Pasay policemen seized 500 grams of shabu being sold at almost one-fifth of its street value during a buy-bust operation on Arnaiz Avenue, Barangay 128 in Pasay City.

Arrested were John Michael Laureta, his cousin Mark Xander Laureta, both 29 years old; Aldrin Alba, 28 and Bryan Villabriga, 36.

According to Joel Plaza, PDEA-National Capital Region director, the four were notorious drug pushers in Metro Manila.

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The confiscated shabu had an estimated street value of P3.4 million but Plaza said it was being sold for only P700,000. “There is some indication that the price of shabu on the streets has gone down,” he added. —Dexter Cabalza

Estrada orders arrest of barangay chair who mauled teen

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has ordered the city police to look for the barangay chair accused of mauling a 16-year-old boy who called him “kagawad” (councilor).

In a statement on Tuesday, Estrada identified the official as Felipe Falcon Jr. of Barangay 350 in Tondo, Manila.

Falcon was drunk when the boy, a Grade 9 student, called him a councilor in Sta. Cruz last Saturday.

“Falcon, who was reportedly drunk, hit  the young victim with a steel bar with the help of his kagawad,” Estrada said.

According to radio reports, the boy did not recognize Falcon who felt offended.

The victim had to go to the hospital for treatment for his injuries.

The order to arrest Falcon has already been relayed to Chief Supt. Rolando Anduyan, Manila Police District director.

Estrada also urged the victim’s family to file charges to hold Falcon accountable “so that he would be removed from his position.”

The councilor who was with Falcon that day has yet to be identified. —Aie  Balagtas See

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TAGS: Aaron Aquino, abusive barangay chairman, Edgardo Casimero, Felipe Falcon Jr., Joseph Estrada, Malabon payroll padding, Office of the Ombudsman, Pasay drug bust, PDEA, Sandiganbayan, Sarah Jane T. Fernandez, shabu supply, war on drugs
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