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Cebu News

Sandigan junks Clavel, Paz et al’s motions

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan 6th Division has sustained its previous decision finding former Cebu Fourth District representative Clavel Asas-Martinez, former Lapu-Lapu City representative Paz Radaza, and five other co-accused guilty for malversation of public funds and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in connection with the anomalous disbursement of funds from the Girl Scouts of the Philippines-Cebu Council amounting to millions of pesos way back in 2002.

This as Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Kevin Narce Vivero, in his 21-page resolution dated October 12, 2022, denied the separate motions for reconsideration of all the accused for lack of merit.

“The joint decision dated May 17, 2022 is hereby affirmed in toto,” the decision read, adding: "In fine, the Court has painstakingly taken a second hard look at the issues raised by accused-movants.

Nonetheless, no substantial and compelling reason warrants the modification, much less the reversal, of the Court peremptory conclusion.”

Aside from Asas-Martinez and Radaza, other accused found guilty in the May 17 decision were former Bogo City (then a municipality) Mayor Celestino “Tining” Martinez III, who is the son of Clavel; Rhett Minguez (municipal treasurer); Cresencio Verdida (municipal accountant); Rhodariza Kilantang (GSP-Cebu Council bookeeper); Julieta Quinio (GSP-Cebu Council cashier-designate); Maria Cielo Martinez (also former GSP-Cebu Council treasurer and daughter of Clavel); and Alejandrita Meca.

Justice Vivero added that the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that under Criminal Case SB-12-CRM-381, the three Martinezes, Minguez, Verdida, Kilantang and Quino conspired in the commission of malversation of public funds as defined and penalized under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code.

Vivero said that under criminal cases SB-14-CRM-0285 and 0286, Clavel, Celestino, Minguez, Verdida, Radaza,  Kilantang and Quino conspired in the commission of malversation of public funds as defined and penalized under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. —  JMD (FREEMAN)

ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT AND THE REVISED PENAL CODE

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