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The Sandiganbayan has acquitted former Cuyo Mayor Andrew Ong of graft involving the supposed anomalous purchase in 2011 of a pump boat.
Now the vice mayor of the town, Ong had been accused of graft in the awarding of a pump boat contract to a private individual without going through bidding.
In its ruling, Sandiganbayan cleared Ong for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, underscoring the town of Cuyo’s efforts to fight illegal fishing and its lack of motorized boat to be used for seaborne patrol.
In an interview Friday with Palawan News (PalNews), Ong said that the case was filed by former Cuyo mayor Teodoro Villagracia but was dismissed by the court due to lack of basis.
“Wala naman kasing basehan kaya na-dismiss. Ilang taon din bago nagkaroon ng decision pero kahit ganoon, masaya tayo kasi wala ng kaso. ‘Yong mga ganyan kasi pamumulitika lang naman ‘yan, ganoon naman talaga,” he said.
In a 35-page decision that was written by Chairperson Efren De La Cruz with the concurrence of Associate Justices Geraldine Faith Econg and Edgardo Caldona, it stated that they failed to see how the purchase caused undue injury to the government.
“Indeed, there is no showing that accused Ong or Alis, or both of them acted with bias which excites a disposition to see and report matters as they are wished for rather than as they are,” the decision said.