Sandiganbayan dismisses complaints vs Quezon province prosecutor
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan has acquitted a provincial prosecutor in Quezon province from complaints stemming from an alleged reluctance to file an Information against a man accused of homicide.
According to the 16-page decision from the anti-graft court’s Seventh Division on November 29, the prosecution failed to prove that Provincial Prosecutor Dione Bustonera violated Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code, which penalizes authorities who willingly and maliciously refrain from pressing charges.
Sandiganbayan admitted that certain elements of the crime have been proven — that Bustonera really failed to discharge duties as a prosecutor when he did not cause the prosecution of Jovencio Trinidad, the person that should have faced homicide raps.
But the court said that there was no malicious intent in the part of Bustonera.
“Nowhere is it shown that accused Bustonera acted with malice and deliberate intent to favor Trinidad. The prosecution utterly failed to present any piece of evidence to prove that accused Bustonera maliciously acted and deliberated intended to favor Trinidad,” the decision penned by Associate Justice Zaldy Trespeses said.
“On the contrary, the testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution and defense both reveal accused Bustonera’s lack of knowledge about the Resolution that he was supposed to comply with,” they added.
They also banked on testimonies from a prosecution witness, whose testimonies did not establish that Bustonera knew an existing resolution ordering him to indict the suspect.
With the decision, the hold departure order issued against him was ordered lifted and set aside, while his bail bond he posted was canceled and released.
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.