Own signature nails ex-chief of barangay on graft charge

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    THE Sandiganbayan has struck down the appeal of a former Manila barangay chairman on his graft conviction, noting the defendant even issued an acknowledgment receipt attesting that he received P10,000 from a businessman as his “share for barangay projects.”

    Bonuso Libay, former chairman of Barangay 172 in District 5, is facing six to nine years imprisonment for one count of graft for unlawfully accepting money from private complainant Franco Espiritu, a supplier-contractor.

    In its resolution dated January 15, 2021, the anti-graft court’s Seventh Division reiterated its pronouncements in a September 4, 2020 decision which affirmed the finding of the Manila Regional Trial Court holding Libay guilty for violation of Section 3 (b) of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

    Trial records showed Espiritu’s FRCGE Trading delivered P132,000 worth of rice, paint and paintbrushes to Barangay 171 in November 2011.

    He testified that Libay asked him for P10,000 before he would sign the disbursement voucher. He gave the sum to the accused on January 20, 2012 believing it was a normal fee and the latter handed him an acknowledgment receipt.

    After this, payment was released to his firm.

    In his appeal, the defendant claimed that there was insufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict since Espiritu’s testimony was not corroborated by another witness.