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Nation

Sandigan junks Maguindanao mayor’s bid to dismiss raps

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has affirmed its ruling denying the bid of Mayor Umbra Dilangalen of Northern Kabuntalan, Maguindanao to dismiss the graft case filed against him in connection with a P5-million water project.

The anti-graft court’s fifth division said Dilangalen failed to raise any new valid argument in his motion for reconsideration to warrant the reversal of its July 9 resolution denying the mayor’s motion to file a demurrer to evidence.

”It is a well-settled rule that a motion for reconsideration should be denied when the same only constitutes a rehash of issues previously put forward,” the ruling read.

A demurrer to evidence would have allowed Dilangalen to seek the dismissal of the case based on the supposed weakness of evidence of the prosecution.

The court had earlier said Dilangalen’s original motion to file a demurrer to evidence merely contains “general denial of existence of the elements of the offense charged.”

In filing the case in 2018, the Office of the Ombudsman said Dilangalen conspired with municipal accountant Rahima Ali and treasurer Kabiba Mael in giving “unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference” to FFJJ Construction when the full payment for the project was released in December 2011 even though it was not yet completed at the time.

Dilangalen insisted that the ombudsman failed to show his ill-will when he approved  the release of payment to the construction firm.

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