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Ex-Pasay mayor gets 10 years for graft

Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - November 26, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Former Pasay City mayor Wenceslao “Pewee” Trinidad was sentenced by the Sandiganbayan yesterday to a maximum of 10 years in prison for graft.

Trinidad, along with former councilor Jose Antonio Roxas, was also slapped with the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

The anti-graft court’s First Division found them guilty of favoring private contractor Izumo Contractors in the construction of a P500-million mall and market project in October 2003.

The Office of the Ombudsman indicted them in 2011 for illegally allowing “old” bids and awards committee (BAC) members to handle the bidding process when a new one had been constituted.

The Sandiganbayan found them guilty of giving unwarranted benefits to the private firm even though government prosecutors failed to prove the project caused injury to the government.

“For failure of the prosecution to present evidence to establish damage or injury and/or the amount thereof suffered by the government as a result of the procurement of the project, which is already fully operational, no civil liability is assessed against the herein accused in both cases,” said the anti-graft court, which also imposed P200 fine on both accused.

Despite the lack of damage on the part of the city government, the Sandiganbayan said Trinidad and Roxas gave “unwarranted benefits, advantage and preference” to Izumo Contractors.

“Such acts not only indicate a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity, the conscious doing of a wrong and a breach of sworn duty through some bad motive or intent or ill will, but also constitute corruption or abuse of authority,” the ruling stated.

Two of Trinidad and Roxas’ co-accused in the case, private individuals Joselito Manabat and Alexander Ramos of a non-government organization, remain at large.

The Sandiganbayan said the cases against them will be archived and be revived if and when they are eventually arrested and made to undergo trial.

 

ACIRC FIRST DIVISION FORMER PASAY CITY IZUMO CONTRACTORS JOSE ANTONIO ROXAS JOSELITO MANABAT AND ALEXANDER RAMOS OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN SANDIGANBAYAN TRINIDAD AND ROXAS TWO OF TRINIDAD AND ROXAS WENCESLAO
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