Former Mayor Francis Nepomuceno of Angeles City, Pampanga is asking the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division to reconsider its ruling that convicted him in the graft charges which stemmed from the donation of a city government-owned vehicle to a non-government organization (NGO) in 2010.
The court earlier found Nepomuceno and Abelardo Pamintuan Jr., who was president of the NGO Kapanalig Angeles City, Inc. (Kapanalig), guilty beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced them to six up to 10 years in prison.
“With all due respect, accused Nepomuceno strongly believes that the Honorable Court failed to appreciate important details that would have justified his acquittal and further with utmost respect, the Honorable Court has misapplied some laws and implementing rules which are not clearly applicable to the facts of the case,” the defense said in a motion for reconsideration.
Nepomuceno and Pamintuan Jr. were charged in 2014 of violating Section 3(e) and 3(g) of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act over the donation of a Mitsubishi Adventure with red plate acquired at P786,000.
In the motion for reconsideration, the defense said that “[i]t is strongly believed that the prosecution tried but failed to present proof that the donation executed by accused Nepomuceno in favor of Kapanalig, Inc. was actuated with malice or fraud sufficient to meet the requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt.”
It said that Nepomuceno was mandated by law to help an NGO by providing assistance, “which he firmly believed to include donation.”
It added that authority from the city council or its concurrence is the only requisite needed to legally assist an NGO.
Nepomuceno’s camp added that nothing in the Local Government Code or any law and known jurisprudence categorically prohibits donation of local government properties to NGOs or people’s organizations.
It also said in part that was the city government, through its then-city council, that decided to donate the vehicle.
The defense thus asked the court to reconsider its decision dated March 27 and that Nepomuceno “be acquitted.”