Sandiganbayan junks ex-Bacolod solon’s plea to dismiss case

MANILAThe Sandiganbayan has junked the motion to dismiss the graft case of a former Bacolod City lawmaker, who was accused of purchasing information technology (IT) packages minus public bidding in 2002.

In a four-page resolution dated Aug. 22, 2018, the Sandiganbayan 2nd Division dismissed the motion filed by former Bacolod City representative Monico Puentevella, ruling that the evidence presented are prima facie sufficient for conviction.

After a careful study, the Court finds that the testimonies of the various witnesses presented by the prosecution, as well as the admissions made and stipulations entered into by the parties, and the numerous documents submitted as evidence are prima facie sufficient for conviction, unless successfully rebutted by defense evidence, the Sandiganbayan said.

Wherefore, premises considered, the Motion For Leave of Court To File Demurrer to Evidence dated July 26, 2018, filed by accused Monico O. Puentevella, through counsel, is hereby denied, it added.

In his motion, Puentevella argued that the evidence of the prosecution is insufficient to prove his guilt.

On Sept. 30, 2013, the Office of the Ombudsman charged Puentevella and Victoriano Tirol Jr., regional director of the Department of Education in Western Visayas, before the Sandiganbayan with violation of Section 3(g) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The anti-graft body also charged Jessie Garcia, president and chairman of the Board of Merryland Publishing Corp.

The Ombudsman alleged that Puentevella, in conspiracy with the two other respondents, used his priority development assistance fund from 2002-2005 in procuring PHP26-million worth of information technology packages without public bidding. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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