MANILA - The graft trial of Sen. JV Ejercito is now half-way done after state prosecutors have finished presenting witnesses on Monday.
Ejercito faces trial at the Sandiganbayan 5th Division for graft after allegedly using of P2.1 million in calamity funds to purchase of 20 high-powered firearms from HK Technical Defense System Inc. when was San Juan City mayor in 2008. He is also charged with illegal use of public funds at the Sandiganbayan 6th Division.
Ejercito, who earlier expressed confidence on his acquittal from the charges, wanted a speedy trial to prove his innocence.
Since the trial began on July 18, 2016, state prosecutors were able to present 10 witnesses in a bid to prove that the senator violated the anti-graft law when he was mayor.
Among the witnesses presented were:
- Atty. Vernard Villarin, field investigator of the Office of the Ombudsman
- Liza San Juan Tiomico, San Juan City budget officer
- Emilio Solisa, officer-in-charge of the San Juan City General Services Department
- Eduvinia Mabulac, Bids and Awards Committee Secretariat head
- Dinah Almasan Lansen, officer-in-charge, City Accountant
- Leticia Alcover
- Alicia Barazon, former San Juan City accountant calamity fund
- Shiela Anne Dalumpienes, Land Bank-San Juan representative
- Amita Legaspi, GMA-7 journalist
- Ria Padilla, secretary to the San Juan City Council
The Sandiganbayan gave prosecutors until Wednesday to submit their formal offer of exhibits, a motion which asks the court to admit the prosecution's documentary evidence and witnesses in resolving the case.
Meanwhile, Ejercito's lawyers have until Friday to comment on the prosecutors' formal offer of exhibits.