Verzosa pleads not guilty to graft raps
MANILA, Philippines - Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Jesus Verzosa pleaded not guilty to graft charges yesterday in connection with the alleged overpriced second-hand helicopters that the police purchased in 2009.
Assisted by his lawyers, Verzosa appeared before the Sandiganbayan for arraignment proceedings marking the start of the trial.
Verzosa has denied any involvement in the allegedly anomalous deal that supposedly caused the government to lose P34.63 million.
His co-accused include former first gentlemen Jose Miguel Arroyo and several PNP officials and personnel who entered not guilty pleas earlier this year.
Verzosa’s arraignment was delayed because of a petition for certiorari that he filed before the Supreme Court questioning his indictment.
The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division chaired by Associate Justice Roland Jurado scheduled preliminary conferences on Oct. 11, 21, 22, and 25.
Pre-trial hearing, on the other hand, was set on Nov. 12 that would be followed by the trial proper, when prosecutors of the ombudsman would start presenting evidence to prove their case.