Philippines: Sandiganbayan junks graft charges against Honasan over alleged pork barrel misuse

The Sandiganbayan has dismissed graft cases against the former senator and current Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan III and his co-accused over alleged misuse of tens of million pesos in pork barrel funds intended for a livelihood project for Muslim communities.

The anti-graft court’s second division granted the motion to dismiss the evidence filed by Honasan along with project coordinator Michael Benjamin and National Council on Muslim Affairs officials Mehol Sadain, Fedelina Aldanese, Olga Galido, Giovanni Gaerlan, Galay Makalinggan, and Aurora Aragon-Mabang.

“The evidence of the prosecution failed to sufficiently establish the elements of the crime charged and to overcome the presumption of innocence in favour of the accused,” the decision read.

The Sandiganbayan issued the said individuals an arrest warrant in August 2017 over Honasan’s alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel in 2012. The Ombusdman then said he authorized the payment of ₱29.1 million to non-government organization Focus Development Goals Foundations Inc. in two tranches without adhering to rules on procurement.

The original full article can be found at cnnphilippines.com

(Photo: Gringo Honasan III/Facebook)

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