By Czarina Ong Ki
Former Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) Chief Administrative Officer Florsepina Yanguas has been acquitted by the Sandiganbayan First Division of her graft charge in relation to the reportedly anomalous purchase of one unit magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine worth P45 million.
Yanguas is one of the co-accused in the charge for violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act filed against other officials of QMMC, such as Dr. Rosalinda Arandia, Dr. Angeles De Leon, Luz Padua, Milagrina Jacinto, and Michael Raquel.
All of them were already acquitted on January 25 this year, but Yanguas remained at large. Apparently, she resigned from QMMC on July 16, 2007 but left for abroad before the Office of the Ombudsman could start its investigation.
In its decision, the anti-graft court said that the guilt of Yanguas’ co-accused has not been established beyond reasonable doubt. As a result, they were absolved of the crime.
“Neither was the allegation of conspiracy among them proven with the required quantum of proof, which is that of the crime itself. In particular, the court even made a categorical finding about the absence of manifest partiality or evident bad faith on the part of the erstwhile accused,” the decision read.
Since there are no other independent evidence against Yanguas, the anti-graft court ruled that she could not be set apart from the others and be convicted.
The anti-graft court has ordered the release of the bail bond she posted for her provisional liberty as well as her hold departure order.