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Hff3l**r, Insight
WednesdaY, June L9, 2OLg

Iloilo solon allowed

to withdraw risky motion
BY PETER TABINGO among non-goverome4{ organizations accred-
ited by the city gover.ti"ient of Iloilo.
IOIII-O Rep. Getonimo "Jeny" Trerias has After calling all of its wimesses to testifr in
been allowed by the Sandigznbayan to with- court, the prosecution made a formal offer of
draw his demurrer to evidence in favor of documentary exhibits on December 5, 2018.
presenting his evidence to rebut the prosecu- In a resolution issued lastlanuary 4' the anti-
tion's graft case concerning alleged misuse of graft court ruled to admit all of the documen-
public funds. tary exhibits presented by prosecutors.
In a 16-page resolution dated May 27, the OnJune 1.4,201.9,Treias filed a motion for
Seventh Division overruled obiections by gov- leave of court to file a demwrer to evidence that
ernment prosecutors, arguing that Treflas is not v'aq denipdby 4t6 52ldiganbayan in a resolution
allowed to withdraw the pleading after his lead issued January 28. 2019.
counsel filed the demurrer to evidence without On January 31,, 2019, defense counsel Jose
Ieave of court. Justiniano informed the court that his client
Filing a demurrer-to evidence without Ieave intends to file a demurrer to evidence within
of court is considered a risky move as the 10 days er.en without leave of court. The li"ling
couft regulady warns defendants that it will be pushed through on February 11,2019.
deemed a waiver of their right to present evi- With the trling by the prosecution of its op-
'position 10 davs later, the issue was deemed
dence. In the event the demurrer to evidence is
denied, the case will be decided based only on submitted for resolution only for the collaborat-
er-idence presented bv the prosecution. ing defense couosel to submit another motion
Since the denial of iearr of court is often- dated April 15, 2019 askhg to be allowed to
times anchored on the finding that the evidence withdraw the demurrer to evidence.
adduced by the prosecution has overcome the Over the objection of prosecutors that the
presumption of innocence the decisi<ln is likely defendant's collaborating counsel cannot be
to be a conviction. allovred to w-ithdras'a motion filed by his lead
The case filed last October 9, 2017 involves counsel, the court granted the withdrawal, say-
an allegation that as mavor of Iloilo City in ing there v/as no valid substitution of counsel
2003, Treias unlawfully allowed the use of of record.
P500,000 ftom the Prioriw Deveiopment As- "In the end, it did not actually mattet which
sistance Fund of Sen. Loren Irgarda for the lawyer represented the accused, but that it was
construction of the Iloilo Press Club (IPC) the accused's own volition and personal choice
building. to cause the filing of the motion," the court
Investigators noted that the IPC was not pointed out.

1 PA(+€ * B.q,v