FORMER Justice Sec. Hernando “Nani” Perez asked the Sandiganbayan to junk the falsification charge against him for failure of the Office of the Ombudsman to prop up the case, even raising the non-appearance of its star witness, Mark Jimenez.
In a 33-page demurrer to evidence, the former cabinet member of former president and now Rep. Gloria Arroyo raised that apart from Jimenez’ no-show, the totality of the evidence against him is too weak.
The defense said that despite the case being a product of his complaint against Perez, Jimenez filed an affidavit of desistance on a later date. On subpoena, the former Manila lawmaker “did not appear” before the court, even if he was sent a show cause order.
“Jimenez’ affidavit of desistance and his deliberate failure to appear are thus clear indications that the case of the prosecution is unsustainable,” the demurrer read.
The case stemmed from the alleged forgery of Perez in his 2001 SALN where he failed to disclosed the source of the $1.7 million foreign bank deposits.
Perez and his wife, Rosario, were slapped with charges regarding their bank accounts 338-118 and 348-118 in European Financial Group (EFG) Private Bank SA which held foreign notes.
Also in his complaint, Jimenez charged Perez of extorting him $2 million in exchange for not being named a co-defendant in the Estrada plunder case.
The defense camp said that the five witnesses of the prosecution relied heavily on the affidavit of Jimenez against Perez.