News Briefs: Pretrial of Alan Purisima reset to April
The pretrial of the graft case against dismissed Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima has been reset to April, as the parties needed more time to mark the evidence.
Lawyers agreed to reschedule Tuesday’s scheduled pretrial to April 18, as four more preliminary conferences would have to be held on Jan. 13, and Feb. 7, 15, and 21. During the preliminary conference, prosecutors and defense lawyers mark their exhibits and stipulate agreed-upon facts to be presented during the trial.
Guidelines will also be laid down for the trial proceedings. Purisima—a friend of former President Benigno Aquino III—and 16 other individuals are accused of corruption for allegedly giving unwarranted benefits to courier service provider Werfast Documentary Agency Inc.—Vince Nonato
Bocaue mayor’s poll win by toss coin upheld
Bocaue mayor Eleanor Villanueva-Tugna was declared the winner in the 2016 elections by toss coin over her rival who also got the same number of votes.
Now, a Malolos court has upheld her victory anew and dismissed an election protest filed by Tugna’s rival in the last polls.
“When I won in the coin toss in the 2016 elections, we know that God himself decided. Now that the court handed down its ruling, now the laws of man affirm my victory,” Tugna said on Tuesday.
Tugna is a daughter of Jesus is Lord founder Eddie Villanueva.—Julie M. Aurelio and Carmela Reyes-Estrope
SC transfer trial venue of Oriental Mindoro murder case
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the transfer of the trial venue of the murder case involving two police officers accused of killing 51-year-old Citizens Crime Watch regional chair Zenaida Luz from Oriental Mindoro to Manila.
The SC acted on a petition filed by Edward Christopher Montejo Luz who sought justice for his mother’s death.
“The Executive Judge of the RTC (Regional Trial Court) of Manila is directed to cause the raffle of this case for trial before the specific branch of the RTC of Manila,” the SC said.
Christopher also asked the court to transfer her mother’s killers—Senior Insp. Magdaleno Pimentel Jr. and Insp. Markson Almeranez, both graduates of the Philippine National Police Academy, from their jail in Oriental Mindoro to the National Bureau of Investigation or Camp Bagong Diwa.—Gil C. Cabacungan
Pangasinan mayor charged with graft
State prosecutors have formally charged a Pangasinan mayor for allegedly renting out the town’s construction equipment without authorization.
Anda Mayor Aldrin Cerdan is accused of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for “willfully, unlawfully and criminally” renting out the municipality’s backhoe, payloader and dump trucks to Jasa Builders for a fee of P100,000 on April 23, 2012.
Cerdan allegedly failed to seek prior authorization from the Sangguniang Bayan of Anda in violation of Section 22(c) of the Local Government Code.—Vince Nonato
Ex-PhilPost chief failed to remit GSIS loan payments, charged
State prosecutors have formally charged former Postmaster General Ma. Josefina de la Cruz and two others before the Sandiganbayan for failing to remit an employee’s loan payments to the Government Service Insurance System.
Besides De la Cruz, also accused are then Philippine Postal Corp. Western Mindanao area director Bernardito Gonzales and accountant Arlene Bendanillo.—Vince Nonato
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