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Sandiganbayan rejects ex-Cam Sur mayor Cordial’s move to junk raps

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By James Hernandez

The Sandiganbayan 7th Division turned down the motions of former Caramoan, Camarines Sur mayor Constantino Huit Cordial Jr. who sought leave to file a demurrer to challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution during the trial.

In its resolution, the anti-graft court disagreed the with their arguments that the prosecution failed to prove the elements of the charges they are facing which is falsification of official documents in violation of Article 171 Paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code.

“The allegation on the failure to prove the elements of Article 177 paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code cannot be appreciated,” the court ruled.

Apart from Cordial, the court also turned down the same motions filed by his co-accused, former vice mayor Irene Breis and Sangguniang Bayan secretary Danilo Obias Belleza.

Under the charges, the defendants allegedly falsified two Sangguniang Bayan resolutions in March 2014.

The two resolutions, addressed to then President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and then Interior secretary Mar Roxas, sought “for Immediate Removal of the Task Force Sagip Kalikasan in the Entire Municipality of Caramoan, Province of Camarines Sur.”

The resolutions allegedly were made to appear that the councilors at time–Eduardo Bonita, Lydia Obias, and Francis Benemerito–participated and attended the deliberations of the official documents.

However, the Office of the Ombudsman which filed the charges pointed out the defendants “well knew that Councilors Bonita, Obias, and Benemetiro did not so participate nor attend during its deliberation and neither was (the resolution) unanimously approved by all the members of the council.”