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Ex-Palawan vice gov De Leon seeks reversal of conviction

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Former Palawan Vice Governor David Ponce De Leon has asked the Sandiganbayan 1st Division to reverse its decision convicting him of estafa charges for defrauding the government over P200,000.

Under the charges, the anti-graft court found De Leon guilty of two counts of estafa through falsification for having altered two receipts amounting to a total of P214,656.89.

In one of the receipts, De Leon made it appear that P12,975.50 was paid, instead of P2,975.50, to Badjao Sea Front on July 29, 2002 as payment for meals and snacks.

He also made appear that the amount of P205,000 was paid instead of P343.11on December 18, 2002 to The Legend Hotels International Corporation for the payment for meals and snacks.

In his motion for reconsideration, De Leon pointed out the prosecution did not even present Legend Hotel cashier Jenny Denosta who issued the receipt.

“It can even be argued then, that it could have been this cashier of the Legend Hotel, Jenny Denosta, who made the intercalation and falsification of the receipt in question as she was the only person who issued this receipt,” he stated.

He also argued that P2,975.50 is not enough to pay for the meals and snacks of the 35 persons.

“It is to be noted that Puerto Princesa City is also a bustling city comparable to that of Davao City or Cebu City, where food prices, although considerably lower than Metro Manila, were still considered as a bit high, more so at well known restaurant or hotels, such as the Badjao restaurant and Legend Hotel,” he explained.