Wed. Sep 22nd, 2021

MANILA — The Sandiganbayan has cleared Guagua, Pampanga Mayor Dante Torres from a technical malversation complaint filed by a local religious leader in 2014.

The anti-graft court’s 2nd Division acquitted the local chief executive for failure “to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

“There being a failure to establish that the acts of the accused are felonious, the fact from which the civil liability might arise does not exist,” the court said in a ruling dated January 31 and released on Friday.

The complaint, filed by Juanito Pring, a local pastor, against Torres involved the PHP2.76 million for the payment of the expenses incurred in the upgrading and rehabilitation of Manuel P. Santiago Park.

The sum, Pring alleged, was originally meant for the rehabilitation of the Aurelio Tolentino Frontage area, the purchase of a refrigerator van, and the purchase and rehabilitation of heavy equipment.

Torres argued that there was neither an ordinance nor any measure which allocated the funds for the three projects.

He said the resolution on the measure was passed by the Local Development Council (LDC) which is composed of members of different sectors of the local government unit.

As mayor and LDC chair, Torres claimed he only presided the meeting and did not vote to pass the resolution. (iamigo/

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