By Czarina Nicole Ong
The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division saw no reason for a former Malabon City official to challenge the evidence against him in his graft and estafa through falsification case.
Edgardo Casimero, formerly the head of the Malabon City Human Resources and Management Department, was charged for violations of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft Law and Article 315 in relation to Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code.
Casimero’s case was for the alleged padding of employees’ payroll back in 2013. The former local official said in his motion to file demurrer to evidence that the evidence admitted by the court against him are “inherently weak, unsubstantiated and insufficient to warrant a finding of his guilt.”
He added that none of the evidence submitted by the prosecution directly links him to the crime charged, and he was not the one who falsified the payroll.
The prosecution argued otherwise, stressing that it was able to establish the existence of all the elements of graft and estafa through falsification. For its part, the Sandiganbayan sided with the prosecution.
“After a careful study of the documentary and testimonial evidence presented by the prosecution, the Court finds that, if unrebutted, the same is sufficient to support a verdict of guilt with respect to accused Casimero,” the resolution read.
Casimero is still free to file his demurrer. However, doing so would mean he will “waive his right to present evidence and is submitting this case for judgment on the basis of the evidence adduced by the prosecution.”
He has been slapped with six counts each of graft and estafa through falsification over the alleged overpayment of salaries to former administrative aide VI Rosalie Bernardo and former administrative officer II Rosa Vilma De Jesus amounting to P1.4 million.