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Sandiganbayan clears ex-Talisay mayor of criminal rap

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The Sandiganbayan Second Division has dismissed the criminal case filed against former Talisay City mayor Johnny De Los Reyes over alleged falsification of public document, The Freeman reported.

In 2014, De Los Reyes was accused of taking advantage of his public position by making it appear that the Board of Trustees (BOT) of Talisay City College (TCC) gave him authority to appoint Dr. Paulus Mariae Cañete as officer-in-charge president of the school, when in truth, no such authority was given.

In his decision, Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi ordered this case dismissed for failure of the prosecution to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

“Where there is reasonable doubt, the accused must be acquitted even though his innocence may not have been established. Upon examination of the evidence presented, the court finds that the prosecution failed to prove the guilt of the accused with moral certainty,” Musngi said.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by former TCC president Dr. Richel Bacaltos.

Bacaltos alleged the issuance of Executive Order 2014-0007 was illegal and created “confusion” among the students and “chaos” in the TCC.

“Despite the non-observance of such procedure, the accused still issued Executive Order 2014-0007 appointing a new College President on the basis of the 10 December 2013 meeting. The issuance of the said Executive Order created confusion among the students and chaos in the TCC because there were two graduation ceremonies, two enrollments, and two entrance examinations,” he said.