The Sandiganbayan denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Director IV Charlita Andales Escaño from the Office of Finance and Administrative Services in Davao City seeking to convince the anti-graft court to allow her to file a demurrer to evidence.

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The Sandiganbayan said she “may have committed” graft and found no reason why the prosecution’s evidence should be challenged.

Allowing her to file a demurrer to evidence would challenge the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence to render a guilty verdict.

She was charged for violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for taking her husband Engr. Alan S. Escaño along in a seminar from March 16 to 20, 2015.

Her husband was not an employee of MinDA and yet she took him to the “Basic Occupational Safety and Health Course for Construction Site Officers” seminar at the Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases, Davao City in lieu of Engr. Renato Buhat Jr.

Mrs. Escaño argued in her MR that there was no documentary evidence showing that she mentioned her husband as the replacement of Buhat in the seminar. Her husband likewise never misrepresented himself as an employee of MinDa.

However, the anti-graft court said that there was no valid reason to reconsider its earlier resolution.

“To reiterate, the accused merely made a general allegation in her motion for leave that the prosecution’s evidence failed to prove the offense charged without even a simple explanation as to how she arrived at such conclusion contrary to Section 23, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court,” the Sandiganbayan stated.

“The prosecution’s documentary and testimonial evidence, if unrebutted, shows that the accused may have committed a violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019,” it added.

The three-page resolution was penned by Associate Justice Karl Miranda and concurred in by Sixth Division Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez and Associate Justice Kevin Narce Vivero.

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