By Czarina Nicole Ong
Former Sampaloc Mayor Samson Bala Delgado of Quezon Province has been convicted by the Sandiganbayan Second Division of estafa due to the misappropriation of the P250,000 loan given by Seaway Lending Corporation.
Delgado was sentenced to imprisonment of one month and one day of arresto mayor as minimum and one year and eight months of prison correcional as maximum after being found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime for violation of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code.
He is also ordered to pay the restitute amount of P250,000 to Seaway Lending Corporation, subject to legal interest until its full satisfaction.
Back in November 1998, Delgado received the said amount from Seaway by virtue of Sangguniang Bayan Resolution 98-31. The loan was to be used by the municipality for its housing project.
However, Delgado “converted the said amount to his own personal use and benefit,” the charge sheet against him read.
In its 20-page ruling, the anti-graft court stated that the elements necessary to be established under a charge of estafa have been adequately proven by the prosecution.
The prosecution was able to present testimonial evidence that the loan was granted back in October 1998 by Seaway, and that accused Delgado was the one who received the proceeds of the loan.
“With the prosecution having thus hurdled its primordial duty of establishing the elements of the felony, the court is left with no other verdict than conviction,” the decision read.
Throughout the trial, Delgado “instinctively harps on the apparent loss of the check that was supposed to be returned to Seaway Lending,” the court revealed. But it was still Delgado who was entrusted with the funds.
“To belabor the point, when the check was placed in the custody of the mayor, it created as between him and Seaway Lending a fiduciary relationship that obliged him to deliver the amount, represented by the check, to the municipality in whose behalf and under whose authority he was only acting,” the court ruled.
The decision was written by Chairman Oscar Herrera Jr. and concurred by Associate Justices Michael Frederick Musngi and Lorifel Pahimna.