Loot to seek retrial of graft, malversation cases

By: Rosalie Abatayo August 12,2019 - 05:49 PM

Former Daanbantayan mayor Ma. Luisa Loot

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Former Daanbantayan town mayor Ma. Luisa Loot will be asking the Sandiganbayan for a retrial of the graft and malversation charges against her and businessman Samuel Moralde.

Lawyer Neil Aaron Balili, Loot’s counsel, told CDN Digital that they are set to file their motion for new trial before the anti-graft court on Tuesday, August 13.

Loot and Moralde were found guilty of graft and malversation of public funds by Sandiganbayan Seventh Division for the anomalous disbursement of P500,000 worth of cash assistance that was released in the form of a loan to a quail raisers organization represented by Moralde in 2007.

Read More: Malou Loot, businessman gets prison term for graft, malversation of funds

“When this case started in 2015, there were a lot of documents that were not considered by the Sandiganbayan and the Office of the Ombudsman because Daanbantayan was almost totally destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. We had extreme difficulty in locating (these) documents,” Balili said.

“It was only just recently that we located a significant number of these vital and material pieces of evidence which were not yet considered by Sandiganbayan during the trial,” he added.

Balili expressed confidence that with the presentation of new and additional documents, they will be able to get an acquittal from the anti-graft court.

He maintained that Loot was innocent and that there was no malversation of funds in the transaction that she entered into with the RBA Quail Raisers Association.

“There is no malversation if the subject transaction is a loan,” said Balili. /dcb

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