Sandiganbayan refuses bail for convicted ex-DTI official

The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division refused to grant bail to a former Director IV at the Philippine Shippers Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Pedro Vicente Mendoza after he was convicted of his malversation charge.

Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN)

Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN)

Mendoza was found guilty of violating Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, otherwise known as Malversation of Public Funds in a decision promulgated on May 17. He was sentenced to the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment ranging from two years, four months and one day of prision correcional as minimum to six years and one day of prison mayor as maximum.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of P929,375 with six percent legal interest per annum, reckoned from the finality of judgment until full payment. Mendoza is also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

Mendoza, who was designated as the Special Disbursing Officer on August 21, 2007, misappropriated P929,375 worth of public funds that was intended for the 39th Asean Economic Ministers Meeting. Despite demands from the Commission on Audit (COA) to do so, Mendoza failed to liquidate the funds.

On September 19, Mendoza filed an urgent petition for bail and asked the anti-graft court to reconsider the cancellation of his bail. He further prayed that he be allowed to post additional bail for his temporary liberty.

Mendoza revealed his plan to elevate the conviction to the Supreme Court (SC), so he wants to post additional bail while his petition is pending.

However, the anti-graft court found his petition without merit. “Here, not only is the judgment of conviction against accused Mendoza final and executory, but he had also commenced the service of his sentence. Hence, his petition for bail is not allowed and cannot be granted,” the resolution read.

The four-page resolution was written by Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz with the concurrence of Chairperson Alex Quiroz and Associate Justice Bayani Jacinto.