Joey Marquez absolved from "walis-tingting" graft case

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The Supreme Court has reversed the "guilty" verdict of the Sandiganbayan on the graft case filed against actor and former Parañaque mayor Joey Marquez in connection with the purchase of brooms (made of coconut-frond ribs) while he was still in office.


Binaligtad ng Supreme Court ang hatol na "guilty" sa aktor at dating mayor ng Parañaque na si Joey Marquez sa graft case kaugnay ng pagbili ng walis-tingting na nagkakahalaga ng P2.9 million noong 1996. Nanungkulan bilang mayor ng lungsod ng Paranaque si Joey mula 1995 hanggang 2004 at bilang vice mayor mula 1992 hanggang 1995.

Matatandaang hinatulan ng Sandiganbayan noong 2007 si Joey ng hanggang limampung taong pagkakakulong dahil sa pagbili ng mga walis-tingting na diumano'y overpriced mula 1996 hanggang 1998. (Click here to read related story.)

"This Court is convinced that the transactions entered into by Parañaque City relative to the walis tingting are manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government," ayon sa desisyon noon ng Sandiganbayan sa kaso ni Marquez.

Pagkatapos makapagpiyansa noon si Marquez ng kabuuang halaga na P240,000 ay nagsampa ng motion for reconsideration ang abogado niyang si Atty. Noel Malaya. At makalipas ang dalawang taon ay nagtagumpay silang maabsuwelto ang dating mayor ng Parañaque sa graft case.

Ayon sa desisyon ng Supreme Court sa pagbabaligtad nito ng hatol kay Joey, hindi sapat ang mga ebidensiya laban sa actor-politician.

Narito ang ilang bahagi ng naging desisyon ng Supreme Court:

"The reasoning of the Sandiganbayan is specious and off-tangent. The audit team reached a conclusion of gross overpricing based on documents, which, at best, would merely indicate the present market price of walis tingting of a different specification, purchased from a non-supplier of Parañaque City and the price of walis tingting in Las Piñas City.

"Effectively, the prosecution was unable to demonstrate the requisite burden of proof, i.e., proof beyond reasonable doubt in order to overcome the presumption of innocence in favor of petitioners."

ESTAFA AND GRAFT CHARGES. Earlier this year, inabsuwelto naman ng Sandiganbayan ang "textbook" estafa at graft charges kay si Joey at dalawang iba pa.

Matatandaang nagsampa ng estafa at graft charges ang Office of the Ombudsman noong September 20, 2000 laban kay Joey, at kina dating Department of Education-Metro Manila division superintendent Rolando L. Magno at former city public information officer Mario L. Jimenez, base sa reklamo ng sales agent na si Lizabeth C. Carreon. (Click here to read related story.)

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