Sandiganbayan affirms evidence in case vs. ex-Batangas lawmaker

Published March 20, 2019, 3:49 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki

The Sandiganbayan Second Division has denied the demurrer to evidence filed by former Batangas 4th District Rep. Oscar Gozos, seeking to dismiss his graft charge on the ground of insufficiency of evidence.


Gozos was slapped with a violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for purchasing four units of Shredder Chipper 15HP on April 12, 2004 amounting to P3 million through direct contracting from LCV Design and Fabrication Corporation (LCV).

The money was charged against the Farm Input Fund for the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In his demurrer, Gozos claimed that there was no evidence he conspired with his co-accused. Even though he made the request and signed the purchase order for the Shredder Chipper, his acts were not tinged with criminality and everything was done in accordance of law.

He added that there was no evidence that he interfered in the internal procedure of the DA governing the processing and approval of his request. He insisted that he did not even check the status of his request.

However, the anti-graft court did not rule in his favor. “After a careful evaluation of the testimonial and documentary evidence presented by the prosecution, the court is convinced that the same, if unrebutted, is sufficient to sustain the indictment of the accused,” the resolution read.

The anti-graft court gave its permission for Gozos to file his demurrer, so he did not waive his right to present evidence now that it has been denied.

The 12-page resolution was written by Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna with the concurrence of Chairperson Oscar Herrera Jr. and Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi.