Criminal Law

Two Ex-Romblon Town Execs cleared of Malversation Raps

Date: 12 March 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Philippines News Agency

MANILA - The Sandiganbayan has exonerated two former municipal executives of a town in Romblon province of malversation charges over the release of PHP1,250 to a person other than the one listed on the payroll in 2009.

The anti-graft court's Special 3rd Division, in a 47-page decision dated March 8, 2019, acquitted former Looc Mayor Juliet Fiel and Administrative Aide Gervacia Sta. Maria of malversation of public funds through falsification of public document.

“In sum, the prosecution failed to prove with moral certainty that accused Fiel and Sta. Maria took advantage of their official positions and colluded with each other in deliberately releasing the amount of PHP1,250 to an individual different from the one listed on the payroll. Neither was there a showing that accused Sta. Maria and Fiel falsified any public document and caused it to appear that one Domingo Docog rendered services when, in fact, he did not,” the court said.

“The Court finds that the evidence of the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that accused Fiel and Sta. Maria took advantage of their official positions and conspired to falsify the daily wage payroll by making it appear that one Domingo Docog received the amount of PHP1,250 as his wage when, in fact, Docog did not render service thereby enabling the accused to appropriate the said amount,” it added.

Case records showed that both Fiel and Sta. Maria pleaded “not guilty” when arraigned on Nov. 24, 2016.

The Office of the Ombudsman indicted Fiel and Sta. Maria of malversation charges in December 2009 for allegedly illegally misappropriating PHP1,250 as salary of Docog for the repair of the mayor’s office.

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