The Sandiganbayan has granted the demurrer to evidence of former Caloocan City Mayor Enrico Echiverri owing to his alleged anomalous P979-million infrastructure projects he approved during his term.
The grant cleared Echiverri and his co-accused of graft and falsification of public document charges leveled against them..
“Wherefore, the joint demurrer to evidence is hereby granted. Accused Enrico Echiverri, Edna Centeno and Jesusa Garcia are therefore acquitted of the crime of violation of Section 3(e) of RA No. 3019 for failure of the prosecution to establish their guilt beyond reasonable doubt,” the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division said in a resolution dated June 13.
“Similarly, accused Edna Centeno and Jesusa Garcia are acquitted of the crime of falsification of public document,” it added.
The court also ordered the lifting of hold departure order against Echiverri, as well as the cancellation of his bond.
The bail bond of Echiverri and the hold departure order against him were ordered released and recalled, respectively.
The Ombudsman filed the charges against Echiverri and his co-accused in connection with the P4.9-million improvement of roads and drainage system at Phase 10, Pkg. 5, Bagong Silang, Barangay 176 between May to December 2011. Maricel V. Cruz
The amount involved was part of the P979-million loan of Echiverri from the Land Bank of the Philippines for various infrastructure projects in the city.
Echiverri said in his demurrer that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt; and that he belatedly received an authority from the council for the project.
A motion for demurrer to evidence is an accused’s plea to court to dismiss the case outright with the evidence on hand.
If that motion were filed without an approved motion for leave of court, the accused will lose the right to file a motion for reconsideration and present evidence in his favor if he were found guilty.