SC affirms junking of case vs alleged Marcos dummy

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THE Supreme Court (SC) has upheld a ruling of the Sandiganbayan junking a case of the Philippine government seeking to pin down a nephew of then-Energy Minister Geronimo Velasco Jr. as his alleged dummy.

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In a January 31, 2017 decision that was released only recently, the SC through Associate Justice Alfred Benjamin Caguioa, the SC denied a Presidential Commission on Good Government petition asking to reverse an anti-graft court verdict holding that there was no sufficient evidence to prove that Alfred de Borja acted as Velasco’s dummy.

It was alleged that Velasco got millions of dollars in freight commissions as then chief of the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC).

Velasco, one of the defendants in the civil case, was the president and chairman of the board of directors of the PNOC.

The case sought to recover ill-gotten assets allegedly amassed by the individual respondents, singly or collectively, during the administration of then-President Ferdinand Marcos.

In its resolution dated July 31, 2008, the Sandiganbayan found that the evidence presented was insufficient to support a claim for damages against de Borja, thereby granting his demurrer to evidence until the case reached the High Court.

The SC held that the Sandiganbayan did not commit a reversible error in its ruling.

“In the face of the foregoing testimony, the insinuations of petitioner Republic [of the Philippines]in the instant petition can best be described as speculative, conjectural and inconclusive at best…,” it said.

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