Sandi­gan­bayan ac­quits for­mer city mayor over ‘seized’ logs

Panay News - - REGION -  By Glenn Vi­dal Beup

ROXAS City, Capiz - For­mer Roxas City mayor Vicente Ber­mejo and Gen­eral Ser­vices of­fi­cer Glenn Amane were ac­quit­ted by t he Sandi­gan­bayan of usurpa­tion charges.

Charges were filed against the two in 2005 for vi­o­la­tion of Ar­ti­cle 177 of the Re­vised Pe­nal Code. They al­legedly dis­posed the logs which were used for the con­struc­tion, fab­ri­ca­tion and re­pair of var­i­ous fur­ni­ture of the city govern­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Ber­mejo’s coun­sel Atty. Leode­gario Dadi­vas, the for­mer mayor was happy about the de­ci­sion of the Sandi­gan­bayan.

“The pros­e­cu­tion failed to prove his guilt be­cause ac­cord­ing to the court’s rul­ing, the logs were merely ap­pre­hended logs and there were no ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ceed­ings in­sti­tuted by the DENR [ Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources] per­tain­ing to the seizure of the sub­ject logs … which means the logs can­not be con­sid­ered as hav­ing been of­fi­cially taken into govern­ment cus­tody,” Da­vi­vas said dur­ing an in­ter­view.

“There is a big dif­fer­ence be­tween ap­pre­hen­sion and seizure,” Dadi­vas said.

The court noted that the “pros­e­cu­tion failed to pro­vide proof be­yond rea­son­able doubt t hat t he ac­cused dis­posed the logs un­der the pre­tense of of­fi­cial po­si­tion, nor was it able to con­vince the court of the crim­i­nal in­tent ev­i­dent in bad faith on the part of the ac­cused in the dis­posal of the logs.”

Amane, mean­while, said he has yet to re­ceive the court’s res­o­lu­tion.

“Un­til we re­ceive our copy of the court’s res­o­lu­tion, noth­ing is fi­nal,” he said in a text mes­sage./

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