Sandigan lets Echiverri contest evidence; OKs withdrawal of 2 other cases
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has allowed former Caloocan City Mayor Enrico Echiverri to contest evidence presented in a graft and falsification case filed against him.
In a resolution of the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division dated April 17, Echiverri and his co-accused City Accountant Edna Centeno and Budget Officer Jesusa Garcia were given 10 days after notice to file their demurrers to evidence, which could let Echiverri seek outright dismissal of the charges against him.
The prosecution, meanwhile, was given another 10 days to file its comment or opposition to the demurrer.
Meanwhile, Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division has approved the Office of the Ombudsman’s request to withdraw two other graft cases against the former city mayor.
According to the prosecution, they do not have the sufficient evidence to convict Echiverri and his co-accused in Criminal Cases Nos. SB-18-CRM 0397 to 0398, and in SB-18-CRM-0389 to 0390,.
Echiverri initially faced 57 graft cases over alleged anomalous deals on the construction of barangay halls, roads, sidewalks, and drainages in Caloocan City. But in most of the cases dismissed, the anti-graft court cited a city ordinance that allowed Echiverri to enter into those deals even without the approval of the city council.
To date, Echiverri faces 44 more graft cases before the Sandiganbayan.
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