Lawmaker seeks dismissal of graft raps
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - October 7, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker from South Cotabato has asked the Sandiganbayan to allow him to seek the dismissal of a P2.5-million graft case filed against him.

In a motion filed on Oct. 2, Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. urged the anti-graft court to permit him to file a demurrer, which would challenge the evidence presented against him by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Filed by the ombudsman in 2012, the graft case against Acharon stemmed from the release of two checks with a combined amount of P2.5 million in cash advances when he was mayor of General Santos City.

The release of the cash advances was intended for a tourism event of the city government held in the US from June 9 to 16, 2006.

The ombudsman said Acharon and his two co-accused failed to liquidate the cash advances.

It said the amount was intended for 37 participants, but only 17 attended the event.

Named as Acharon’s co-accused in the case were former city finance chief officer Marcelino Dospueblos and General Santos City (GSC)Tourism Association president Criselda Macion.

In his appeal, Acharon said the prosecution failed to present any evidence or witness that could prove that he committed bad faith or gross negligence in the issuance of the checks in favor of Macion‘s group.

He said the issuance of the checks was lawful as it was supported by an ordinance and two resolutions approved by the city council.

He said there was no evidence presented showing he conspired with Macion and Dospueblos.

Acharon said the prosecution failed to prove that the fund was unliquidated. 

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