Sandiganbayan clears Lanao lawmaker of graft
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has dismissed graft charges against former Lanao del norte governor and incumbent 2nd District Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo after state prosecutors failed to prove his involvement in the fertilizer fund scam.
“In this case, the Court finds that the prosecution has not presented sufficient proof to show that accused Dimaporo exercised manifest partiality and evident bad faith in allocating the subject fund to LFI (Lanao Foundation Incorporated) Any motive of self interest or ill was not satisfactorily established,” the anti-graft court explained.
“The prosecution merely relied on its claim that LFI is not qualified to implement the project because of the latter’s financial and operational incapability having an equity of PhP 12,558.64 in order to impute bad faith and manifest partiality on accused Dimaporo in allocating the funds to the said NGO,” the court added.
The Sandiganbayan said the Department of Agriculture assured that the foundation had already shown the capability to deliver projects even with the said issue.
Witness Edwin Canios, State Auditor for Region X, also reported that all of the farmer beneficiaries received the fertilizers.
The Sandiganbayan’s Second Division last March 28 granted Dimaporo’s bid to challenge prosecution’s evidence.
In response, the court said that the prosecution was not able to fully establish that Dimaporo acted in bad faith when he released funds for the purchase of 10,000 bags of fertilizer to LFI.
The hold departure order issued against Dimaporo has since been lifted and set aside, while bail bonds he posted have been ordered released. / gsg
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