Sandiganbayan clears BFAR official of malversation charge

Published January 19, 2021, 1:44 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division has cleared Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Director XI George Gacus Campeon of his malversation charge involving the reported misappropriation of diesel sale funds back in 2005.

(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Campeon was initially accused of violating Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, otherwise known as Malversation of Public Funds, for receiving the proceeds from the sale of 2,000 liters of automotive diesel fuel intended for MCS Patrol Boat 3004 in the amount of P59,800 on July 30, 2005.

In its ruling, the anti-graft court said the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused, so Campeon was ordered acquitted of his charge.

Campeon admitted that he received the said proceeds of the sale, and he even signed the Cash Voucher as the recipient of the funds. The prosecution contended that Campeon misappropriated the money for his personal use because he did not immediately make an accounting of the amount to BFAR.

The accused asserted that he fully accounted for the proceeds of the sale of the diesel fuel. The anti-graft court found merit in his claim.

“The accused satisfactorily explained in detail where the proceeds of the sale went. The amount of P46,756.80 was used by the BFAR to purchase 1,530 liters of diesel fuel and the balance of P13,043.20 was remitted to the Bureau of Treasury,” the resolution read.

The court stressed that Campeon did not commit malversation, either intentionally or through negligence, because he sufficiently explained where the proceeds went.

“Wherefore, accused George Gacus Campeon is acquitted of the charge of malversation of public funds for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt,” the resolution stated.

“The hold departure order issued against him by reason of this case is hereby lifted and set aside, and the bond posted by him is released subject to the usual accounting and auditing procedures,” it added.

The 27-page resolution was written by Associate Justice Karl Miranda with the concurrence of Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez and Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi.

 
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