Ex-PNR officials plead guilty in court, fined P500 each

Published January 1, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki

Former officials of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) have entered into a plea bargaining agreement with the prosecution and pleaded guilty to a lesser offense instead of graft and were fined by the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division with just P500 each.

Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN)

Assistant General Manager Rafael Faunal Mosura Jr., who is also the bids and awards committee (BAC) Chairman, together with BAC members – Engineering Department Manager Edgardo Ronan Remonte and Officer-in-Charge of the Materials Management Department Constantino Ramirez Dominguez were initially slapped with a violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

On February 16, 2009, they were accused of giving unwarranted benefit to Pandrol Korea by recommending and causing the award of the contract through direct contracting in favor of it for the procurement of 170,000 sets of rail fastenings and 50,000 pieces of clips and insulators despite the non-compliance with the requirements of the Government Procurement Act.

There must be a prior survey of the industry and proof that there is no suitable substitute in the market that can be obtained at a more advantageous term, the prosecutors said.

When the accused were arraigned on July 19, they all entered “Not Guilty” pleas. But in the course of the pre-trial conference on September 6, the accused filed a Manifestation offering their intention to plead guilty to a lesser offense of violation of Article 213(a) of the Revised Penal Code.

The prosecution gave its full consent on October 18, so they were re-arraigned. Mosura, Remonte and Dominguez, represented by their counsel, Atty. Claro Flores, were appraised of the consequences of their plea to the lesser offense of Frauds Against Public Treasury. All the accused manifested that they understood the nature of the plea.

“Wherefore, judgment is hereby rendered, finding accused… guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the lesser offense of Frauds Against Public Treasury, as defined and penalized in Article 213, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code,” the dispositive portion of the decision read.

“Having appreciated in their favor the mitigating circumstance of the plea of guilty, the penalty of fine of P500 is hereby imposed upon each of the accused,” it added.

It is written by Associate Justice Bayani Jacinto with the concurrence of Chairperson Alex Quiroz and Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz.##