Ex-mayor seeks dismissal of graft raps

>> Monday, March 7, 2016

BINMALEY, Pangasinan -- A former mayor of this town has asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the graft charges filed against him in connection with the rentals of garbage equipment from 2011 to 2013.
Former Binmaley mayor Lorenzo Cerezo asked the Sandiganbayan justices to dismiss the 21 counts of violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act filed against him.
Cerezo’s lawyer Edgar Avila said the charges against his client were baseless.
The Office of the Ombudsman said Cerezo spent P2 million in government funds to rent dump trucks, payloaders and backhoes of the MTAC Merchandise.
Graft investigators said the company was owned by a relative of Cerezo and that no public bidding was conducted for the procurement.
Avila said the equipment was used to clear garbage and debris caused by typhoons that devastated the municipality.
He said Cerezo sought the opinion of his legal consultant before entering into the contract. The consultant said the contract was legal.

Avila said Cerezo relied on a letter of the chairman of the bids and award committee, who cited exceptional circumstances brought about by the calamity.


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