By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki
Former Caraga Mayor William Sobiaco Duma-an of Davao Oriental has been convicted by the Sandiganbayan for graft for receiving a loan in exchange for the release of a 3 percent service fee in favor of a company back in 2010.
He was sentenced by the anti-graft court’s Third Division to suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of six years and one month as minimum to 10 years as maximum, with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
Duma-an was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(b) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits public officials from “directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction between the government and any other party, wherein the public officer in his official capacity has to intervene under the law.”
In this case, Duma-an received a personal loan of P2 million from Roseller Macayra, Chief Executive Officer of RR Summit Consultants Inc. The loan was given under the assurance that Duma-an would facilitate the release of a 3 percent service fee in favor of Macayra’s company as consultant for the Caraga Public Market, Terminal, and Commercial Complex Construction and Development Project.
During the trial, Duma-an admitted his receipt of the P2 million as a loan. He likewise admitted the authenticity of the ‘Contract with Loan Confirmation and Promissory Note’ between him and RR Summit.
Duma-an also knew of the municipality’s contract with RR Summit, which stated that the municipality is obligated to pay a 3 percent fee to RR Summit in consideration of its financial advisory services in helping the municipality obtain a loan to finance its priority projects.
He even wrote a letter addressed to Macayra on July 9, 2010, saying that “the municipality, through the undersigned, binds and unconditionally commit[s] to pay your service fee of 3 percent of P110 million right after the release.”
“What is most glaring is the fact that on July 10, 2010, or a day after the date of the aforementioned letter, [the] accused Duma-an received the first P1 million from the private complainant,” the decision read.
Given Duma-an’s admissions and the evidence presented by the prosecution, the anti-graft court ruled that Duma-an’s guilt has been successfully established.
The 22-page decision was penned by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje Tang with the concurrence of Associate Justices Bernelito Fernandez and Ronald Moreno.