Graft trial of ex-CHR commissioner Quisumbing to continue

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Graft trial of ex-CHR commissioner Quisumbing to continue
The Sandiganbayan denies the bid of Cecilia Rachel Quisumbing to have her case dismissed, and orders her to proceed with presenting evidence

MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan will continue the trial for graft and bribery of former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) commissioner Cecilia Rachel Quisumbing, after the court denied her bid to dismiss the case outright.

Quisumbing filed what is called a motion for leave to file a demurrer of evidence. A demurrer tells the court that the defendant no longer needs to present evidence because the prosecution’s evidence is already weak enough for the case to be dismissed.

The Sandiganbayan 2nd Division did not agree, saying in a July 20 resolution that “the foregoing pieces of evidence appear to be prima facie sufficient to sustain a conviction unless rebutted by the defense.”

The charges of one count each of graft, direct bribery, and violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees stemmed from the accusation that Quisumbing promoted an administrative aide VI to senior administrative assistant III but demanded that she collect the aide’s salary differentials from January to July 2013.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales dismissed Quisumbing in September 2014 for violating the rules of the Civil Service Commission. The Ombudsman said the promotion was made only “for the purpose of obtaining the subordinate’s salary differentials.”

Quisumbing argued that there was no proof she received the money. She claimed it was remitted to the CRVQ Office Fund, of which she is the custodian, and can be accounted for to this day.

The Sandiganbayan denied her arguments, and ordered the trial to continue. Quisumbing will now formally present her evidence.

The ruling was penned by Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna with Associate Justices Oscar Herra Jr and Michael Frederick Musngi concurring. –

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