Former municipal mayor Angel Peliglorio Jr. of Mariveles, Bataan pleaded not guilty to the graft and malversation charges filed against him and businessman Cedric Lee.
Peliglorio and Lee are facing the charges before the San-diganbayan’s Third Division in connection with the release of Mariveles’ funds as advance payment for a public market that was allegedly never built.
“Not guilty, Your Honor,” Peliglorio told the court after the clerk of court read him the charges.
The arraignment of Lee was because of a pending motion he filed asking the court to quash or void the charges.
The prosecution was given 10 days from Thursday within which to file their comment on the motion and the defense, 10 days after receipt of the prosecution’s comment to reply.
Peliglorio allegedly authorized the release of the municipality’s bank loan proceeds in the amount of P23.47 million in 2005 to Izumo Contractors Inc. for the supposed public market. Lee is the President and CEO of the business establishment.
Lee, who refused to be interviewed, was present during the scheduled arraignment but was not accompanied by his lawyer. He informed the court that his lawyer was unable to attend because his wife had to be taken to the hospital.