In a decision issued recently, the anti-graft court said the Office of the Ombudsman failed to prove that Radaza and the other respondents were guilty of violating Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
STAR / File
Ex-Cebu mayor acquitted of graft
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - November 11, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has acquitted former mayor Arturo Radaza of Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu and 16 others of graft in connection with the purchase of allegedly overpriced and substandard computer units in 2005.

In a decision issued recently, the anti-graft court said the Office of the Ombudsman failed to prove that Radaza and the other respondents were guilty of violating Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The court said the prosecution failed to establish that the accused acted in bad faith when it awarded the contract to Kein Enterprises.

Aside from Radaza, acquitted were bids and awards committee chairman Teodulo Ybañez; BAC members Michael Dignos, Victoria Andoy and Elena Pacaldo; technical working group head Rogelio Veloso; TWG members Cipriano Flores, Sharon Baguio, Buenaventura Igot, Jerico Mercado and Maribeth Soroño; administrative aide Marita Guiao; service officer Cleofe Solis, and inspection committee members Leandro Dante, Ernesto Imbong and Rogaciano Tampus.

Also acquitted was private respondent Jannet Valencia, manager and proprietor of Kein Enterprises.

Filed by the ombudsman in November 2014, the case stemmed from the city government’s purchase of 470 desktop computers for public high schools.

The ombudsman said the contract was overpriced by P12.62 million.

Meanwhile, the Sandiganbayan also cleared six officials of the Pandi Water District in Bulacan in a case that stemmed from their alleged refusal to reinstate and pay the backwages of a former PWD executive.

The anti-graft court acquitted PWD chairman Mario Agustin, vice chair Ofelia Cruz, Rosalinda Marcos and board members Marlon Soriano, Ma. Isabel Avendaño and Anicia Marquez. 

The ombudsman said the respondents failed to respond to the demand of former PWD general manager Elvira Socorro Santos.

Santos was terminated for alleged inefficiency and non-compliance with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) policy.

Santos appealed her case before the CSC, which ordered her reinstatement and payment of her back wages.

The Sandiganbayan said the board reinstated Santos, although her backwages were not immediately paid.

The court said the delay in the  payment of Santos’ backwages was justified and not done in bad faith.

ARTURO RADAZA GRAFT
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