Purisima’s demurrer motion junked; graft trial to continue – Sandigan
MANILA, Philippines — The trial of dismissed former police chief Alan Purisima for graft cases stemming from an anomalous delivery of gun licenses in 2011 will continue, the Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division said.
This was after the anti-graft court denied the motions that Purisima and his co-accused filed, seeking demurrer to evidence with leave of court.
The court, however, reminded the respondents that they still can file demurrers but without leave of court.
“After carefully reviewing the accused’s respective Motions and the prosecution’s evidence, this Court resolves to deny the respective Motions of the accused,” the anti-graft court said in its minutes of the proceedings last June 13.
“As provided in Rule 119, Sec. 23 of the Rules of Court, the accused may adduce evidence in their defense, or in the alternative, they may file a demurrer to evidence without leave of court,” they added.
A demurrer to evidence is a document filed by the accused to contest evidence presented by the prosecution. A demurrer granted by the court could lead to the dismissal of the case.
If the court denies the motion to file demurrer with leave of court, the accused may still cite evidence in his defense. But if an accused files a demurrer without leave of court, he or she waives the right to present additional evidence and submits the case for judgment based on the prosecution’s evidence.
Purisima was charged by the Office of the Ombudsman for violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act after allegedly engaging Werfast Documentation Agency to facilitate the delivery of gun licenses without public bidding and despite the company’s lack of a track record in the courier service.
In 2011, Purisima, who was appointed Philippine National Police chief during the Aquino administration, was ordered dismissed by then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales over the issue.
Aside from Purisima, other police officials named respondents in the case were: B/Gen. Raul Petrasanta, M/Gen. Gil Meneses, M/Gen. Napoleon Estilles, B/Gen. Allan Parreño, Col. Eduardo Acierto, Col. Melchor Reyes, Lt. Col. Lenbell Fabia, Maj. Sonia Calixto, Maj. Nelson Bautista, Maj. Ricardo Zapata Jr., and Cap. Ford Tuazon.
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