Sandigan junks graft cases vs Honasan over alleged PDAF misuse
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has junked graft cases against now Department of Information and Communication Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan and his co-accused in relation to the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) when he was still senator in 2012.
In its 52-page ruling, the anti-graft court’s 2nd Division granted the demurrer to evidence filed by Honasan, Michael Benjamin, Mehol Kiram Sadain, Fedelina Aldanese, Olga Sajise Galido, Giovanni Manuel Gaerlan, Galay Makalinggan, and Aurora Aragon-Mabang.
The court said, “the evidence of the prosecution failed to sufficiently establish the essential elements of the crime charged and to overcome the presumption of innocence in favor of the accused.”
“Accordingly, the cases against the accused are hereby dismissed,” it added.
The Sandiganbayan likewise lifted the hold departure orders issued against all the accused, and released the bail bonds they posted albeit subject to accounting and auditing procedures.
In August 2017, the Office of the Ombudsman filed before the Sandiganbayan two counts of graft against Honasan. The Ombudsman said Honasan’s P30 million PDAF for Muslim Filipinos was implemented without complying with procurement regulations.
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