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Ex-Zambales mayor Marty seeks reversal of graft verdict

Mar 5, 2019 @ 10:14

Former Sta. Cruz, Zambales mayor Luisito Marty has asked the the Sandiganbayan Special 3rd Division to reverse his conviction concerning the non-issuance of business permits to two mining firms.

Last February 15, the anti-graft court has issued a decision which found him guilty of graft and usurpation of legislative powers.

The case concerns the non-issuance in 2011 of business permits to Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation Inc. (ZDMC) and Zambales Chromite Mining Company Inc. (ZCMC) without any legal basis, even though the firms complied with all the requirements prescribed by law.

“The element of undue injury to the municipality of Sta. Cruz, Zambales was not established as there was no valid tender of payment of the occupation fee on the part of the complainant,” he pointed in his motion for reconsideration about his graft conviction.

With regards to usurpation issue, he explained “the foregoing assumption made by the prosecution do not amount to facts proven beyond reasonable doubt.”

“In any event, it is a settled principle of criminal law that an accused must be convicted on the basis of the strength of the prosecution and not on the weakness of his defense,” he stressed.

In its decision which ruled on his demurrer to evidence, the court pointed out he made “the feeble excuse that the approval or denial thereof is dependent upon the reply of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to his alleged letter regarding his request for clarification on ‘various mining issues affecting the municipality of Sta. Cruz, Zambales, particularly environmental tax.”

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