Sandi­gan junks Echiverri’s bid to dis­miss graft raps

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - El­iz­a­beth Marcelo

The Sandi­gan­bayan has de­nied the pe­ti­tion of for­mer Caloocan City mayor En­rico Echiverri to dis­miss his graft case in con­nec­tion with an al­legedly anoma­lous P1.9mil­lion drainage project in 2011.

In a 10-page res­o­lu­tion pro­mul­gated on April 20, the anti-graft court’s Third Divi­sion found no merit in Echiverri’s mo­tion for the dis­missal of the case.

“After a ju­di­cious re­view of the ar­gu­ments raised by the de­fen­dant, the court finds no co­gent rea­son to re­verse its ear­lier find­ing that prob­a­ble cause ex­ists for the pur­pose of is­su­ing a war­rant for his ar­rest,” read the res­o­lu­tion penned by Sandi­gan­bayan Pre­sid­ing Jus­tice Am­paro Cab­o­taje-Tang.

Echiverri and two other de­fen­dants, for­mer city ac­coun­tant Edna Cen­teno and bud­get of­fi­cer Je­susa Gar­cia, had posted bail after the Sandi­gan­bayan is­sued war­rants for their ar­rest.

In its March 10 rul­ing, the court found suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to pro­ceed with the trial.

Echiverri, Cen­teno and Gar­cia are fac­ing charges of violating Repub­lic Act 3019, the Anti-Graft and Cor­rupt Prac­tices Act.

Cen­teno and Gar­cia were also charged with fal­si­fi­ca­tion of public doc­u­ments.

The cases stemmed from the al­leged anoma­lous award­ing of a P1.962-mil­lion con­tract to Golden 3T Con­struc­tion for a drainage im­prove­ment project in Barangay 179.

The Of­fice of the Om­buds­man said the deal was awarded with­out au­tho­riza­tion and bud­get al­lo­ca­tion from the city coun­cil as pro­vided un­der the Lo­cal Govern­ment Code.

State pros­e­cu­tors said Cen­teno and Gar­cia fal­si­fied an al­lot­ment and obli­ga­tion slip to make it ap­pear that the city coun­cil al­lo­cated fund­ing for the project.

Echiverri is fac­ing six more graft cases in other di­vi­sions of the Sandi­gan­bayan over al­legedly anoma­lous drainage projects in sev­eral vil­lages in Caloocan dur­ing his term as mayor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.