Ex-PNP chief Purisima’s bid to contest evidence in perjury charges junked
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has denied former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima’s appeal to challenge evidence presented against him in eight perjury cases.
The Sandiganbayan’s Second Division, in its three-page resolution released last April 8, stated that Purisima’s motion for leave to file demurrer to evidence was denied because the prosecution’s evidence against him — if not rebutted — can already sustain a guilty verdict.
A demurrer to evidence would allow an accused to contest the evidence and seek for the outright dismissal of the charges.
“Technicality aside, the Motion must still be denied, as the testimonial and documentary evidence presented by the prosecution, unless successfully rebutted by the accused, appear to be prima facie sufficient to support a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt,” the document penned by Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna said.
Purisima is facing eight counts of perjury for allegedly failing to disclose various possessions in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth filed from 2006 to 2009, and from 2011 to 2014.
The former national police chief served under the administration of then president President Benigno Aquino III, before being dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly committing graft over an anomalous P100 million contract for the delivery of gun licenses in 2011.
Aside from these controversies, Purisima also drew flak for his role in the botched Mamasapano operation even if he was suspended from duty.
The operation led to the neutralization of international terrorist and bomb-makers Zulkifli Abdhir or “Marwan”, but at the expense of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos.
Aside from the strength of the evidence, the anti-graft court noted that Purisima’s was motion was also denied for lack of merit, as he just alleged that the prosecution’s evidence was insufficient.
“In praying for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence, accused merely alleged that the plaintiff’s pieces of evidence, documentary and testimonial, are insufficient to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt,” the court said. /gsg
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