Sandiganbayan affirms guilty verdict against ex-Army colonel

Published October 22, 2020, 4:33 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division has affirmed its decision finding former Army Colonel Jessie Mario Borja Dosado guilty of three counts of sexual harassment as his motion for reconsideration was junked.

Dosado was found guilty on Aug. 20 of violating three counts of Section 3 of R.A. 7877, or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act, and was sentenced to four months imprisonment for each of the charges for taking advantage of his position and inducing two women to perform or engage in sexual acts against their will in three separate occasions.

He filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that the guilty verdict was rendered without appreciating the testimonies of the defense. He also said that there were inconsistencies in the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses.

Dosado added that the prosecution failed to prove the elements of sexual harassment because there was no proof that his actions caused an intimidating and hostile environment at work.

He argued that a woman, even a soldier, cannot hide discomfort in meeting her alleged offender. So his meetings with the complainants after the alleged incidents only show that no sexual harassment occured.

However, the anti-graft court found Dosado’s arguments devoid of merit. The court stressed it had reason to doubt the defense’s witness since it appeared that she was coached. As for the prosecution witnesses, the court found them credible.

The court also disagreed with Dosado’s statement about how his actions did not create an uncomfortable working environment against his victims.

“It had been established that the accused’s acts resulted in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for [Master Sergeant Dynne G.] Bersonda and [Sergeant Florizel] Suico, such that they transferred to other units because they were afraid that the accused may repeat the acts complained of,” the court said in its resolution.

The 17-page resolution was written by Sixth Division Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez with the concurrence of Associate Justices Karl Miranda and Kevin Narce Vivero.

Dosado was earlier sentenced to suffer a total of one year imprisonment as well as pay a fine of P60,000. He was also ordered to indemnify each of his victims with P5,000 by way of moral damages.

The first incident of sexual harassment took place on May 16, 2013 in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, when he demanded that a subordinate employee, Bersonda, who was assigned on a Detailed Service at the Philippine Army Procurement Center (PAPC), to watch him having sexual intercourse with a woman named “Miss Glacy.”

He even asked her to join them in a threesome and, as a result, created “a hostile or offensive working environment” for Bersonda.

On Oct. 22, 2013, Dosado solicited a sexual favor from a different subordinate employee—his secretary, Suico. Dosado asked her to wipe his back while he was naked, and told her to give him a bath.

Then on Oct. 25, 2013, Dosado once again put his secretary in a compromising situation when he instructed her to apply lotion on his private part. He asked her lewd questions about how she felt while applying the lotion, and even told her to compare the size of his private part with that of her husband’s.

Dosado presented Glacy—or rather, Glecy Ambrad, an umbrella girl at the Philippine Navy Golf and Country Club—to deny the accusations made by Bersonda.

Glacy testified she has only been to Dosado’s office once. She served as his umbrella girl when he played golf, but Dosado could not pay her because he left his wallet in the office. She was then left at the cafeteria and was driven back to the golf course by the accused’s driver after she was paid.

But the court had reason to doubt her testimony and even believes she was “coached” for her testimony.

At the same time, the court said there is no evidence that would show that Bersonda and Suico had any reason for fabricating charges against Dosado, or any ulterior motive for filing the complaints.