The Sandiganbayan has found current Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection and Laguna Lake Development Authority General Manager JR Nereus “Neric” Acosta and his mother, former Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon mayor Socorro “Coring” Acosta guilty of graft.
Both Acostas were also sentenced to 6 up to 10 years of prison term. The decision can still be appealed.
When asked by Bukidnon Online if their family will appeal, re-electionist Bukidnon 1st District Rep. Malou Acosta-Alba, Sec. Neric’s sister, said that they will. “Motion for reconsideration in 15 days,” she said. Rep. Malou also described the developments as “sad, very sad.”
The decision comes weeks after Sandiganbayan also dismissed the perjury case against both Acostas.
The Sandiganbayan case stemmed from the alleged misuse of then Rep. Acosta’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Neric Acosta served as former Bukidnon 1st District Congressman.
In 2012, Acosta faced a 90-day preventive suspension.
In 2009, Bukidnon Online published Sec. Neric Acosta’s full statement on the case filed against him and his mother.
On a personal note, I can’t help but wonder if Sir Neric became a political sacrificial lamb here. Would you believe that when sought of his reaction to the conviction, Mar Roxas said that it was proof that justice system under the PNoy administration’s fair? Wow, ano yun? Sir Neric has long been a Liberal Party stalwart. In my opinion, Mar Roxas’ statement reeked of washing of hands of the responsibility of at least showing support to a valuable member of your team.
Additionally, the timing of the release of the decision is also quite curious. At a time when Mar Roxas’ survey numbers don’t look promising at all. You can’t help but wonder if the conviction was needed in order for a certain someone’s image to look good.
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