Sandigan: Strong evidence to convict Bohol mayor
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - October 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — There is sufficient evidence to convict Mayor Leonila Montero of Panglao in Bohol over the alleged illegal hiring of municipal consultants in 2013, according to the Sandiganbayan.

“If unrebutted, the same is sufficient to support a verdict of guilt,” the anti-graft court’s sixth division said in a resolution promulgated on Oct. 4.

Montero is facing four counts each of illegal appointment under the Revised Penal Code and graft.

The court denied Montero’s motion for leave to file a demurrer to evidence, which would have allowed her to seek the dismissal of the charges without presenting her defense. 

The sixth division said Montero could still file her demurrer without a leave of court but subject to the conditions under Section 23, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. This means waiving her right to present evidence and submitting the cases for judgment on the basis of the evidence of the prosecution.

The charges stemmed from Montero’s defiance of the one-year ban in the appointment of losing candidates when he hired four local bets as consultants of the Panglao municipal government.

Graft probers said the consultants were hired without contract of service or appointment approved by the Sangguniang Bayan.


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