Strong evidence vs Mindanao Development Authority executive — Sandigan
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has affirmed its ruling finding sufficient evidence against an official of the Mindanao Development Authority who was charged with graft for bringing her husband to a seminar exclusive for officials and employees of MinDA.

In a resolution promulgated on Sept. 11, the anti-graft court’s sixth division denied the motion for reconsideration of Charlita Escaño, MinDA finance and administrative services director, to file a demurrer to evidence or seek the dismissal of the case without presenting her defense.

The court maintained that Escaño failed to substantiate her claim that the Office of the Ombudsman did not present enough evidence to prove that she violated Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

“The accused merely made a general allegation in her motion... without even a simple explanation as to how she arrived at such conclusion,” the sixth division said.

The court found no merit in Escaño’s argument that the ombudsman dismissed an administrative case filed against her in connection with the same alleged offense.

Filed by the ombudsman in 2018, records of the case showed that Escaño allowed her husband to attend a basic occupational safety and health course for construction site officers from March 16 to 20, 2015 at a hotel in Davao City.  His registration fee of P6,000 was paid by MinDA.

The ombudsman said Escaño’s husband attended the seminar in lieu of a MinDA engineer, a certain Renato Buhat Jr.

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