CA affirms ruling vs Neri in NBN-ZTE case
CA affirms ruling vs Neri in NBN-ZTE case
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - July 16, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed an earlier Ombudsman ruling finding former Social Security System president Romulo Neri guilty of misconduct in connection with the aborted $329-million national broadband network deal with ZTE Corp. of China.

However, the appellate court modified the anti-graft body’s decision and downgraded the case from misconduct to simple misconduct.

In a 12-page decision penned by Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon, the CA’s Sixth Division ruled that the Ombudsman was right in handing down the guilty verdict on Neri on the questioned resolution as it denied the petition for review filed by the former SSS head.

“The assailed Joint Decision of the Office of the Ombudsman dated April 21, 2009 is hereby affirmed with modifications in that… Neri is only held guilty of simple misconduct and is directed to pay a fine equivalent to his salary for six months as penalty therefor,” the ruling stated.

The CA held that Neri’s case lacks elements of corruption.

“Lacking the elements of corruption and the intent on the part of petitioner (Neri) to violate or disregard the law, this court therefore finds petitioner liable for simple misconduct only,” it explained.

Associate Justices Hakim Abdulwahid and Marlene Gonzales-Sison concurred in the ruling.

 

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE EDWIN SORONGON ASSOCIATE JUSTICES HAKIM ABDULWAHID AND MARLENE GONZALES-SISON COURT COURT OF APPEALS JOINT DECISION OF THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN MISCONDUCT NERI ROMULO NERI SIXTH DIVISION SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM
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