Graft court clears Lanao del Norte solon

LANAO del Norte Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo was cleared of graft in connection with the fertilizer fund scam.

In exonerating Dimaporo, the Sandiganbayan said the state prosecutors failed to prove his involvement in the fertilizer fund scam.

“In this case, the Court finds that the prosecution has not presented sufficient proof to show that accused Dimaporo exercised manifest partiality and evident bad faith in allocating the subject fund to LFI (Lanao Foundation Incorporated). Any motive of self- interest or ill (will) was not satisfactorily established,” the anti-graft court ruling  read.

The Sandiganbayan added that the prosecution merely relied on its claim that LFI is not qualified to implement the project because of the latter’s financial and operational incapability having an equity of only P12,558.64 in order to impute bad faith and manifest partiality on accused Dimaporo in allocating the funds to the NGO.

The Sandiganbayan said the Department of Agriculture assured the court that the foundation had already shown the capability to deliver projects even amid the fertilizer issue.

The Sandiganbayan’s Second Division last March 28 granted Dimaporo’s bid to challenge the prosecution’s evidence.

In response, the court said that the prosecution was not able to fully establish that Dimaporo acted in bad faith when he released funds for the purchase of 10,000 bags of fertilizer to LFI.

Following the acquittal, the hold departure order issued against Dimaporo has been lifted and set aside, while bail bonds he posted have been ordered released.