SC acquits PEA officials, contractor | Inquirer News

SC acquits PEA officials, contractor

/ 05:12 AM August 03, 2023

The Supreme Court has acquitted former executives of the Public Estates Authority (PEA) and a private contractor who were earlier convicted by the Sandiganbayan over the P1.1-billion Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay and Paranaque.

In a 69-page decision promulgated in February but released only recently, the high court’s Second Division acquitted former PEA directors Cristina Mortel, Theron Victor Lacson, Leo Padilla, Manuel Beriña Jr., Jaime Millan, Bernardo Viray, Raphael Pocholo Zorilla, Daniel Dayan, Frisco San Juan, Elpidio Damaso and Carmelita Chan on the ground of reasonable doubt.

The SC reversed the 2015 Sandiganbayan decision convicting the officials of corruption and also deleted the Sandiganbayan’s order for the officials to reimburse the government P100 million as civil liability.


Also acquitted was Jesusito Legaspi, owner of JD Legaspi Construction, who, according to Sandiganbayan, received almost P533 million for the project.

“[A]s a rule, findings of fact of the Sandiganbayan, as a trial court, are accorded great weight and respect. However, in cases where there is a misappreciation of facts, this Court will not hesitate to reverse the conclusions reached by the trial court,” SC said. —TINA G. SANTOS

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TAGS: Public Estates Authority, Supreme Court

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