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Sandigan convicts dead Navy chief

Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - January 18, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Sandiganbayan has convicted retired Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Mariano Dumancas, who died last year, of four counts of graft.

In a Jan. 12 decision released yesterday, the anti-graft court sentenced Dumancas to serve 24 years in prison after finding that the Navy did not hold a public bidding for the procurement of P2.31 million in medical supplies from 1991 to 1992. The charges were filed in 2011.

According to members of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1960, Dumancas died of heart failure while confined at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in March last year.

One of his classmates said Dumancas died with only his security aide at his bedside. The aide was the one who arranged for the burial because the former Navy chief’s wife and only daughter died ahead of him, the classmate said.

Sources in the Navy confirmed Dumancas’ death, saying they attended his burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Court records show Dumancas said it was an emergency purchase due to rumors of an impending coup, but state auditors reported that the Navy still had medical supplies in stock.

His co-accused – former procurement officer Commander Rosendo Roque; Commander Ramon Renales, former price monitoring officer; Commodore Francisco Tolin, former deputy commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard; and Commander Manuel Ruason, former Philippine Navy assistant chief of staff for logistics – were also found guilty.

Former Navy officers Captains Walter Briones and Alfredo Penola remain at large.

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