Ex-La Union lawmaker cleared of graft, malversation
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA,Philippines — Former La Union second district representative Thomas Dumpit Jr.  has been acquitted of graft and malversation charges filed against him before the Sandiganbayan over the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or  pork barrel in 2008.

Also cleared of the charges were Rhodora Mendoza and Romulo Relevo, administration and finance director and general services unit head, respectively, of the defunct National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCOR).

The anti-graft court’s first division ordered the dismissal of the charges halfway through the trial as it granted their demurrers to evidence.

”It is clear that the prosecution failed to muster the required quantum of evidence,” the Sandiganbayan said.

Dumpit was accused of releasing P14.5 million of his PDAF to Kasangga sa Magandang Bukas Foundation Inc. (KMBFI) without public bidding and that the non-government organization (NGO) implemented ghost projects and programs.

The Sandiganbayan said there is no proof that Dumpit handpicked KMBFI, noting that it was NABCOR that entered into a memorandum of agreement with the NGO.

“The court is convinced that the guilt of... Dumpit, Relevo and Mendoza... has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt,” the ruling read.

“It is clear that accused... did not appropriate, misappropriate or permit another person to take public funds,“ it added.         

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