MANILA - The Sandiganbayan 6th Division has dismissed another graft case against former Caloocan City mayor Enrico Echiverri over insufficient evidence.
In a resolution promulgated on August 22, 2019, the anti-graft court granted the demurrer to evidence filed by Echiverri and his co-accused former city budget officer Jesusa Garcia and former city accountant Edna Centeno.
The related falsification of public documents charges against Garcia and Centeno were likewise dismissed.
The cases stemmed from the allegedly anomalous award of a P4.582-million contract to upgrade drainage along Antipolo St. in Barangay 30 to P.B. Grey Construction without prior authorization from the city council.
But the court ruled that there was an appropriation ordinance for the project which renders a separate authorization from the city council unnecessary.
“In fine, there was no manifest partiality, evident bad faith and/or gross inexcusable negligence on the part of accused Echiverri when he awarded the subject contract to, and entered into the contract with, P.B. Grey,” the court said in the resolution penned by Division Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Karl Miranda and Kevin Narce Vivero.
The court also noted that there was no undue injury to the government and that the project was completed by P.B. Grey.
The cases of Echiverri, Garcia and Centeno were among the more than 50 cases involving infrastructure projects in Caloocan City which are being dismissed by various divisions of the Sandiganbayan one by one.
The anti-graft court had dismissed several graft cases against the former Caloocan City mayor.