Manila Times - - Regions - REINA C. TO­LENTINO

THE prose­cu­tion asked the Sandi­gan­bayan’s Sev­enth Di­vi­sion to deny the mo­tion to file a de­mur­rer to ev­i­dence that Rep. Pe­dro Acharon Jr. of South Cota­bato’s first dis­trict filed and his co- ac­cused in the graft case over the al­leged fail­ure to liq­ui­date P2.5 mil­lion cash ad­vances in 2006 when he was mayor of Gen­eral San­tos City. “Given the fore­go­ing, the prose­cu­tion, re­spect­fully sub­mits that am­ple pieces of ev­i­dence, tes­ti­mo­nial and doc­u­men­tary, were pre­sented and of­fered to prove ac­cused Acharon and ac­cused Ma­cion’s cul­pa­bil­ity,” the prose­cu­tion ar­gued and asked the court to deny the mo­tions for lack of merit. The Of­fice of the Om­buds­man filed the case in 2012 against Acharon; Marcelino Dospueb­los, thencity fi­nance ad­min­is­tra­tor; and Chriselda Ma­cion, then-pres­i­dent and rep­re­sen­ta­tive of GSC Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion, Inc. The case stemmed from the cash ad­vances sup­pos­edly for the “Pa­gana Din­ner Show and Tam­bayay­ong Fes­ti­val” in Los An­ge­les, Cal­i­for­nia, USA on June 9-16, 2006 in­tended for 37 par­tic­i­pants but only 17 were able to join and the ac­cused al­legedly failed to liq­ui­date the amount. In fil­ing the mo­tion Acharon cited, among oth­ers, that prose­cu­tion wit­ness Her­man Ju­milla “con­ceded” there was par­tial liq­ui­da­tion of about P600,000 dis­prov­ing the al­le­ga­tion in the charge sheet. But the prose­cu­tion ar­gued “[t]here can only be liq­ui­da­tion to speak of if the en­tire amount of the P2.5 mil­lion was liq­ui­dated.”

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