Sandiganbayan denies mayor’s motion in falsification case

By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki 

The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division has denied the motion for leave to file demurrer to evidence filed by Palapag, Northern Samar Mayor Manuel Jaldo Aoyang in relation to his falsification charge involving the wrong statements made in a Municipal Resolution back in 2015.

Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN) Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN)

Aoyang was accused of violating Article 171, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code together with Sangguniang Bayan member Eleno Barsalaso Calot and Sangguniang Bayan Secretary Emil Bello Go, who also goes by the names Hermilio Bello Go and Nardo B. Go.

On February 17, 2015, Aoyang and his co-accused acted in conspiracy by feloniously falsifying the resolution entitled "Resolution Approving the List of Anti-Poverty Reduction Projects in the Municipality of Palapag, Northern Samar."

They wrote in the public document that Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members Sonia P. Evardone and Anacorito C. Javier were among those who attended and were present during the said session for the passage of the resolution, even though they were not present.

Aoyang alleged in his motion that the aggregate evidence of the prosecution was insufficient to prove all the elements of falsification. He stressed that he signed the resolution in good faith, and he cannot be expected to conduct searching questions about everything that happened during the SB's drafting of the resolution.

At the same time, Aoyang said there is no evidence that would show that the resolution was made and executed upon his order or with his knowledge and consent.

Unfortunately for him, the anti-graft court found his motion bereft of merit. "The Court finds the prosecution's proffered evidence as prima facie sufficient to sustain the charge for falsification... and if the same remains undisputed, it can support a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Thus, it is incumbent upon said accused to present his evidence in order to counter the charges against him," the resolution read.

The five-page resolution was penned by Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz with the concurrences of Fourth Division Chairperson Alex Quiroz and Associate Justice Bayani Jacinto.