Sandigan affirms sufficiency of evidence vs former lawmaker
The anti-graft court found no merit in Ipong’s appeal, which sought the reversal of the ruling denying his motion for leave to file a demurrer to evidence.
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Sandigan affirms sufficiency of evidence vs former lawmaker
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - October 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has affirmed the sufficiency of evidence against former North Cotabato congressman Gregorio Ipong in connection with the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel in 2007.

The anti-graft court found no merit in Ipong’s appeal, which sought the reversal of the ruling denying his motion for leave to file a demurrer to evidence.

A demurrer would have allowed Ipong to seek the dismissal of his cases without presenting his defense.

The anti-graft court clarified that Ipong could still file his demurrer without a leave of court, but subject to legal consequences as provided under the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2017, the cases against Ipong stemmed from the alleged misuse of his PDAF amounting to P4.9 million during his term as representative of the second district of North Cotabato in 2007.

The ombudsman said Ipong endorsed the non-government organization, Aaron Foundation Philippines Inc. (AFPI), to be the implementer of livelihood projects for his district and funded by his PDAF.

The ombudsman said the projects were awarded to AFPI without public bidding as required under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

The ombudsman said the AFPI was not qualified to carry out the projects, which turned out to be non-existent.

GRAFT SANDIGANBAYAN
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