Evidence vs Surigao mayor found strong
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan Second Division has denied the motion for leave of court to file a demurrer to evidence filed by Bislig, Surigao del Sur, Mayor Librado Navarro in connection with his graft charge involving the alleged anomalous purchase of a hydraulic excavator worth P14.75 million from RDAK Transport Equipment Inc. in 2012.
In a six-page resolution, the antigraft court ruled that the evidence against Navarro was strong.
A Commission on Audit evaluation report found that the project was awarded to RDAK despite noncompliance with the technical specifications concerning engine power, bucket capacity and operating weight, and a notice of disallowance was issued.
“After going over the records, the court finds, and so holds, that the evidence presented by the prosecution, testimonial and documentary, as well as the admissions and stipulations of the parties, appear to be prima facie sufficient to sustain a conviction, unless successfully rebutted by defense evidence,” the court resolution read.
A demurrer to evidence asks the court to evaluate the evidence presented by the prosecution to determine if there is enough basis to proceed.
A granted demurrer is tantamount to a dismissal of the case.
Since the leave of court to file a demurrer was denied, trial is expected to continue, with Navarro presenting his evidence. —Patricia Denies M. Chiu
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