Agusan del Norte governor cleared of graft, malversation
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - September 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Agusan del Norte Gov. Dale Corvera has been acquitted of graft and malversation of public funds over alleged illegal reimbursement of municipal funds when he was mayor of Cabadbaran City in 2014.

In a 42-page decision promulgated on Sept. 6, the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division said the prosecution panel of the Office of the Ombudsman failed to prove its claims that the money was used for personal purposes.

“Jurisprudence has repeatedly enunciated that when the absence of funds is not due to personal use... by the accused, the presumption is completely destroyed... the presumption is never deemed to have existed at all,” the court ruling read.

The cases stemmed from Corvera’s reimbursement of P362,154 from May 2011 to June 2014, which allegedly included personal expenses that he and his wife Nancelie incurred when they attended activities of the Boy Scout of the Philippines in Manila as well as meals, hotel accommodation, air fare and other travel expenses in Cebu City, also in connection with the BSP.

The Sandiganbayan said Corvera had accounted for the questioned public funds in the documents that he submitted when he applied for reimbursement.

The court said Corvera’s attendance in the activities and meetings of the BSP were “all public in nature, considering that the BSP is a public corporation imbued with public interest.”

The city council passed an appropriation ordinance allocating P250,000 to support the city’s scouting program in 2014, it added.

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