Ex-Philcomsat execs acquitted
MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s brother, Enrique Locsin, has eluded his graft charge, after the Sandiganbayan Second Division granted his demurrer to evidence.
Locsin and Manuel Andal, both nominees to the Philippine Communications Satellite Corp. (Philcomsat) and Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corp. (POTC), were earlier accused of graft for receiving “grossly exorbitant salaries” from 2003 to 2005.
Both received P300,000 per year, beyond the P180,000 annual salary allowed by Memorandum Circular No. 40. They also had travel allowances of P550,000 and other unexplained reimbursements for transportation expenses, consultancy fees and more, amounting to P15 million for Locsin and P11 million for Andal.
But in the resolution acquitting them, the antigraft court said the prosecution failed to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
“Considering that the evidence relied upon by the prosecution is insufficient to prove the accused’s evident bad faith and the undue injury sustained, the court finds that the prosecution failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused,” the antigraft court said.
A demurrer formally asks the court to determine if the evidence presented by the prosecution is strong enough to withstand trial. A granted demurrer results in the dismissal of the case. —Patricia Denise M. Chiu
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