‘Evidence vs Cebu town mayor strong’

Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has presented sufficient evidence against Mayor Efren Gica of Dumanjug, Cebu, who was charged with graft and three counts of falsification of public documents before the Sandiganbayan.

”The court finds the evidence adduced by the prosecution, both testimonial and documentary, to be prima facie sufficient to sustain a conviction unless successfully rebutted by defense evidence,” the anti-graft court’s fourth division said in a resolution promulgated on Nov. 18.

The fourth division denied Gica’s motion for leave to file a demurrer to evidence, which would have allowed him to seek the dismissal of the charges based solely on the supposed weakness of evidence of the prosecution.

The cases stemmed from allegations that Gica padded the amount of meal expenses for an event when he was vice mayor.

Based on the charge sheets, Gica falsified liquidation reports, a purchase order and receipts to make it appear that P21,435 was spent for dinner during a barangay assembly in April 2014.

The ombudsman said Gica obtained P10,000 “for his personal benefit” as the total cost of the meal was only P11,435.

OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN
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