Ombudsman: Evidence vs South Cotabato lawmaker strong
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has insisted that it has presented strong evidence to prove the guilt of South Cotabato Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. in connection with his alleged failure to liquidate his cash advances when he was mayor of General Santos City.

In an opposition paper filed on Oct. 10, the prosecution urged the Sandiganbayan not to allow Acharon and his co-accused Chriselda Macion, president of General Santos City Tourism Association Inc., to file a demurrer to evidence for their case of violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

“The prosecution presented ample evidence, testimonial and documentary, to prove Acharon and Macion’s culpability,” the opposition paper read.

Filed by the ombudsman in 2012, the graft case stemmed from the release of two checks amounting to P2.5 million for the supposed tourism event of the city government held in California, USA from June 9 to 16, 2006.

Acharon, former city finance administrator Marcelino Dospueblos and Macion failed to liquidate the cash advances, the ombudsman said.

The amount was intended for 37 participants but only 17 attended the event, it added.

Last month, Acharon and Macion asked the anti-graft court to allow them to file a demurrer to evidence.

If granted, Acharon could seek to dismiss the case filed against him and his co-acused without presenting their evidence.

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