MANILA - Government prosecutors filed on Tuesday their opposition to the motions to quash filed by former Bureau of Immigration (BI) deputy commissioner Al Argosino and retired policeman Wally Sombero at the Sandiganbayan 6th Division.
The prosecution countered the arguments of Argosino and Sombero that the crime of plunder cannot have been committed because the recovered amount of money was only P49,999,000, or P1,000 short of the minimum threshold of P50 million for plunder cases.
The prosecution gave weight to the testimony of bagmen Norman Ng and Alexander Yu that they gave P50,000,000 to Argosino, as well as the statement of Argosino himself.
“Similarly, it must be emphasized that in his counter-affidavits before the Office of the Ombudsman, accused Argosino even insisted that the total sum given to him and accused Robles was only P48 million as accused Sombero took P2 million from the paper bags at the COD parking lot,” the prosecution said.
The prosecution likewise debunked the argument that the receipt of P50,000,000 is considered as a single act because Argosino and his co-accused Michael Robles took advantage of their government position and at the same time received money in two tranches.
“It is thus respectfully submtited that accused Argosino and Sombero’s claim that there were no series or combination of overt or criminal acts that would constitute plunder is patently without merit and/or misplaced,” the prosecution said.
The prosecution also said that the argument that there was no “main plunderer” does not hold water as the law on plunder “does not speak of a main plunderer.”
“Conversely, accused Sombero, Argosino and Robles are all responsible for the ill-gotten wealth they acquired without distinction as to who the ‘main plunderer’ was, as well as to the share that each of them received,” the prosecution said.