In a resolution promulgated on Dec. 13 and released yesterday, the anti-graft court’s sixth division denied Chiong’s motion to file a demurrer to evidence, which would have allowed him to seek the dismissal of the graft charges filed against him based on the supposed weak evidence of the prosecution.
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Sandiganbayan: Strong evidence vs ex-Cebu mayor
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - January 4, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — There is strong evidence to convict former mayor Valdemar Chiong of Naga City, Cebu, according to the Sandiganbayan.

In a resolution promulgated on Dec. 13 and released yesterday, the anti-graft court’s sixth division denied Chiong’s motion to file a demurrer to evidence, which would have allowed him to seek the dismissal of the graft charges filed against him based on the supposed weak evidence of the prosecution.

“After a careful study of the documentary and testimonial evidence presented by the prosecution, the court finds that if unrebutted, the same is sufficient to support a verdict of guilt... for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act),” the  resolution read.

The case stemmed from the business permit Chiong granted to Petronas Energy Philippines Inc. on April 7, 2014 despite lack of a fire safety inspection certificate from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

Under the Fire Code, no occupancy and business permits shall be issued without the BFP certificate.

The court said Chiong could still file his demurrer, but he has to waive his right to present evidence and submit the case for judgment  based only on the evidence presented by the prosecution.

Chiong was given five days upon the receipt of the resolution to decide whether he would still file a demurrer. 

Pending Chiong’s manifestation, the court set the hearings on Jan. 16, 23 and 24.

GRAFT SANDIGANBAYAN VALDEMAR CHIONG
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