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Boulevard contractor wants raps dismissed

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MANILA, Philippines - The private contractor of the allegedly overpriced President Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard (PDMB) called on the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the graft charges filed against him.

In a seven-page motion, Jesusito Legaspi of JD Legaspi Construction questioned the evidence of the prosecution, which he claimed was baseless and unfounded.

Legaspi said he was wrongfully accused of defrauding the government along with former officials of the Public Estates Authority (PEA) that oversaw the P1.1-billion road project.

Legaspi was among those charged in the PDMB project that was allegedly overpriced by about P530 million.

Legaspi, however, argued that he cannot be charged with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act since the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over him as a private individual.

He also said government prosecutors failed to support the allegation of overpricing of the road project, pointing out a report of the Commission on Audit (COA) that said otherwise.

His lawyers pointed out the prosecution must prove the allegations of overpricing since it is vital to the case.

“If there is no overpricing, there can be no crime, because there can be no prejudice or damage to the government or any party, as well as no unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to accused Legaspi,” his lawyers noted.

Legaspi said he is not responsible for any malfeasance committed by PEA officials in the procedural and legal requirements of the road project bidding.

He argued that the offense committed by PEA officials should not include him as among the accused in the case. –Michael Punongbayan

ACCUSED

ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT

GOVERNMENT

JESUSITO LEGASPI

LEGASPI

LEGASPI CONSTRUCTION

MICHAEL PUNONGBAYAN

PRESIDENT DIOSDADO MACAPAGAL BOULEVARD

PROJECT

PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY

SANDIGANBAYAN

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