The Sandiganbayan’s Special Fourth Division has acquitted former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Chairman Camilo Sabio of graft and malversation charges in connection with the alleged misappropriation of P10.35 million remittances of a firm that were supposed to be remitted to the national treasury.
The remittances of Mid-Pasig Land Development Corp. came from the proceeds of the sale
of A. Soriano Corporation shares which form part of the ill-gotten wealth of former President Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies.
The court also acquitted Sabio in a malversation case that stemmed from his alleged failure to liquidate P1.5 million for lack of evidence.
The court said that the prosecution “failed to fulfil the test of moral certainly and establish such degree of proof necessary to support a conviction.”
“Even if the defense evidence may appear to be weak, the Prosecution must stand on the strength of its own evidence. Any reservation of guilt of the accused, as in these cases, given the totality of evidence adduced, the Court should entertain no other alternative but to acquit him. Unless the Prosecution has overturned the presumption of innocence, acquittal is inevitable,” the court said.
Associate Justice Maria Cristina Cornejo penned the ruling which was concurred in by Associate Justice Jose Hernandez, who leads the court’s Fourth Division, and Associate Justices Rodolfo Ponferrada and Michael Frederick Musngi. Associate Justice Alex Quiroz dissented.