Loot and Moralde said they should be allowed to file a demurrer to evidence to seek the dismissal of the case.
Vicente Loot’s wife wants graft raps dismissed
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - February 1, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The wife of Mayor Vicente Loot of Daanbantayan, Cebu  has urged the Sandiganbayan to allow her to move for the dismissal of the charges filed against her in connection with an alleged anomalous livelihood project entered into by the municipal government when she was mayor in 2007.

In a joint motion for leave filed before the anti-graft court’s seventh division, Maria Luisa Loot and her co-accused former councilor Samuel Moralde maintained that the Office of the Ombudsman’s prosecution panel failed to present any evidence to prove their guilt for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and malversation of public funds.

Loot and Moralde said they should be allowed to file a demurrer to evidence to seek the dismissal of the case.

A demurrer seeks the dismissal of the case halfway through the trial on the ground of the supposed weakness of evidence of the prosecution.

Filed by the ombudsman last year, the cases against Loot’s wife stemmed from the grant of a loan to private organization RBA Quail Raisers Association wherein Moralde was the chairman.

Maria Luisa allegedly entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with RBA on Feb. 28, 2007 granting the organization a loan of P500,000 to finance its quail egg farming operation as part of the local government’s livelihood project.

The ombudsman said the MOA was entered into without approval of the Sangguniang Bayan. RBA was not an accredited organization at the time, it added.

The loan remains unpaid. Moralde also failed to submit evidence showing that public funds were used for their intended purpose.

In their motion, Loot and Moralde argued that accreditation of a private organization before a loan or financial assistance could be granted is not required under any law.

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