Close  

Sandiganbayan junks ex-Malabon lawmaker’s bid to contest evidence

/ 10:42 PM October 17, 2019
Sandiganbayan suspends Mindoro town mayor who aided crew of sunken fishing boat

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan has denied former Malabon Rep. Federico Sandoval II’s motion for leave of court to file a demurrer to evidence in a graft and technical malversation case against him.

According to the Second Division’s resolution last Monday, the separate motions of Sandoval and other accused individuals from the Department of Agriculture (DA) were denied as the pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution appear to be sufficient to convict them, unless countered by their lawyers later on.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sandoval was accused of conspiring with DA Regional Field Unit-IV (RFU-IV) officials in procuring a P3 million worth Tornado Brush Chipper/Shredder by means of direct contracting or without going through public bidding.

“After a meticulous study, the Court finds, and so holds, that the evidence adduced by the prosecution, testimonial and documentary […] appear to be prima facie sufficient for the conviction of the accused of the offense charged, unless successfully rebutted by defense evidence,” the resolution written by division chair and Associate Justice Oscar Herrera Jr. said.

FEATURED STORIES

Other accused in the case are RFU-IV Regional Executive Director Dennis Araullo, and DA’s RFU-IV employees Juvylee Obice, Raymundo Braganza, Lourdes Imperial, Abelardo Bragas, Felix Ramos, Ofelia Montilla, Gregorio Sangalang, and Balagtas Torres.

All of them were also facing technical malversation raps as the budget used to buy the chipper was sourced from P728 million Fertilizer Fund — which should have been intended to fund the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani program of the DA.

Had the court granted the motion of Sandoval and the others accused, they would have been allowed to file demurrers and contest evidence presented by the prosecution.  If the court deems their arguments to be valid, the case would be outrightly dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.

Sandiganbayan considered the witnesses and documents presented by the state lawyers — a combination of officials from the Commission on Audit, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Agriculture, and files concerning the supposed transaction.

In a 2011 report, Sandoval is specified as one of the several former lawmakers charged with graft for their alleged role in the fertilizer fund scam where money intended for farmers’ fertilizer went instead to candidates allied with the Arroyo administration in 2004. /jpv

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: court, graft case, Local news, malabon, Philippine news update, Sandiganbayan, Sandoval
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.