Ex-Occidental Mindoro mayor faces graft

The Sandiganbayan Second Division has denied the motion by former Occidental Mindoro Mayor Filemon Galsim to quash the graft case filed against him for allegedly purchasing an overpriced lot in 2012.

In a resolution signed by Associate Justices Michael Frederick Musngi, Lorifel Pahimna and Second Division chairman Oscar Herrera on 22 August, the court has found no merit in Galsim’s motion filed on 20 July 2018.

“The court finds that the above-quoted averments sufficiently charge the offense of violation of Section 3(g) of RA 3019. They contain all the elements constituting the violation. As to whether the prosecution will be able to prove the allegations, the same shall be determined after the presentation of evidence during the trial of the case,” the court ordered.

Galsim’s defense argued the charges against the former local chief executive do not constitute an offense. The accused claimed that a material allegation in the information dated 21 December 2017 is not supported by hard evidence.

However, the court dismissed his claims and found sufficient grounds to pursue his prosecution for alleged violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Galsim’s case stemmed from a contract of purchase he entered while he was still the mayor of Sta. Cruz, Occidental Mindoro.

He was accused of taking advantage of his authority when he bought a 2,123 square-meter lot from a certain Teresita Asis Mercene for P702.70 per square-meter or P1,492,832.00, which was higher than the approved market value under the SP Resolution 43, ordinance 26.

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