Lawyer: Dongkoy acquittal 'final'

THE City Hall worker who filed a case against former Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente "Dongkoy" Emano that had been dismissed recently cannot appeal the Sandiganbayan’s decision to the Supreme Court.

This was the contention of Emano’s legal counsel lawyer Francis Ku who said that it would be unconstitutional for the prosecution to seek for reconsideration or appeal the anti-graft court's decision of acquittal which favors Emano.

City hall employee Leonor Esparcia said the office of the Ombudsman is set to review the Sandiganbayan's decision and will likely appeal the decision to the higher court.

The Sandiganbayan acquitted Emano on Friday over the charges of willful refusal to implement a final decision of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to reinstate Esparcia to her original position.

"Considering that the prosecution failed to prove that the action of the accused was willful, this court finds the accused not guilty," part of the decision reads.

Emano has been insisting that he was not able to implement the CSC's decision because of the absence of a writ of execution and due to the election ban which prohibits movement of employees so as not to expose him to election offenses.

Ku said that trying an accused for the same offense will fall to the rule of double jeopardy based on the bill of rights.

"It is universally recognized that you cannot file a motion for reconsideration and appeal a decision of acquittal. That is not allowed," Ku said.

Ku said the prosecution will be engaging into unethical practice if they would appeal and elevate the case to the higher court.

"I don't think they will do or they can do that," Ku said, adding that the Sandiganbayan's decision is already the "end of the story."

Another lawyer has agreed with Ku that in a criminal case, there is no room for appeal once the accused is acquitted.

Lawyer Adonhis Gumahad explained that in the general rule of criminal cases the decision of acquittal is final and executory.

"Once acquitted dili na pwede i-apelar ang decision unless kung grossly eroneous ang decision nga klaro naay anomalya pero sa general rule no more room for appeal na gyud na. Risk nana sa lawyer kung ila pang i-apelar," Gumahad said.

After enjoying victory, Emano said they would discuss further legal actions with his lawyers on the likelihood of suing Esparcia and those behind of her legal action.

"Hisgutan pa namo na sa akong mga abogado kung unsay sunod namo nga mga lakang," Emano said.
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