Sandiganbayan affirms charges vs QC councilor

Published August 18, 2018, 1:10 PM

by Patrick Garcia


By Czarina Nicole Ong

The Sandiganbayan Seventh Division has affirmed the graft and falsification charges against Quezon City Councilor and actor Roderick Paulate as it junked his motion for reconsideration asking the court to take another look and quash his criminal charges in relation to the “fictitious job contractors” he hired back in 2010.

(Credits: Pixabay | Manila Bulletin)
(Credits: Pixabay | Manila Bulletin)

Paulate was accused of violating one count of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and nine counts of Par. 2 of Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code together with his driver and liaison officer, Vicente Bajamunde, who has been charged with one graft charge and eight falsification charges.

From July to December 2010, the two of them were accused of causing undue injury to Quezon City in the total amount of P1,109,000 when they hired around 60 “fictitious job contractors” in Paulate’s office for his personal gain.

The anti-graft court denied their motion to quash on June 18 this year, and they filed his motion for reconsideration on July 9. They reiterated that the delay of five years and 11 months should be considered inordinate.

All the documents needed by the prosecution have already been in their possession since 2011, but no explanation was given why the case was resolved only in 2014. It took another three years just to file the Information before the Sandiganbayan.

At the same time, the prosecution failed to show whether the 60 witnesses took an active participation in the preliminary investigation.

Unfortunately for the accused, the anti-graft court decided to deny their motion due to lack of merit.

“The arguments raised by accused with respect to the reconsideration of their motion to quash likewise failed to persuade. Notably, they merely replead the same arguments advanced in their motion to quash which had been sufficiently considered and passed upon in the assailed resolution,” the eight-page resolution read.

It was signed by Associate Justice Zaldy Trespeses with the concurrence of Chairperson Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta and Associate Justice Georgina Hidalgo.

Their arraignment and pretrial will proceed on August 31 at 8:30 a.m.