Sandigan junks ex-Zamboanga Sibugay mayor motion, affirms graft conviction


by Allan Yves Briones

“It would be a useless ritual for this Court to reiterate itself.”

The Sandiganbayan 6th Division has said as much in denying the motion for reconsideration filed by former Naga mayor Gemma Adana in relation to her earlier graft conviction.

“The bulk of the grounds raised by the accused is a mere reiteration or rehash of their previous arguments, which were already squarely and sufficiently addressed by this Court in the subject Decision,” the anti-graft court held in a resolution.

In her motion for reconsideration filed August 14, Adana asked the court to set aside their earlier decision, and instead submit a judgment of acquittal, arguing that there was no factual basis for a guilty verdict beyond reasonable doubt.

The court, however, ruled otherwise, stating that the evidence reveals that the accused gave “unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference” to private company CVCK trading through “manifest partiality or at the very least, gross inexcusable negligence.”

The former mayor was charged with violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 for participating in the allegedly anomalous procurement of heavy equipment worth P8.8 million in 2007.

Adana allegedly conspired with Jose Ely Solivar, general manager of CVCK Trading, to award the latter the contract despite several irregularities in the bidding process.

Associate Justice Kevin Narce Vivero wrote the resolution, concurred by Associate Justice Karl Miranda and Division Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez. #