The Sandiganbayan has denied the motion of trader Pamela Pensotes of RJP International Trading Construction and General Services for the release of her P1.56 million travel bond.
Pensotes is one of the accused in the case involving the purchase of armored vehicles filed against former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Avelino Razon Jr.
On Nov. 19, 2020, the anti-graft court ordered the forfeiture of Pensotes’ travel bond due to the delay in the filing of her compliance as a requirement for her travel.
In her motion for reconsideration, Pensotes told the court the delay was because the certified true copy of her passport showing the date of her departure and arrival was inadvertently placed by the staff of her former lawyer in a different folder, so it went by unnoticed.
She said the documents were retrieved only recently by her new counsel, so it was belatedly filed before the anti-graft court.
She told the court there was no deliberate intent on her part to violate the provisions of her travel authority, since she immediately appeared before the Division Clerk of Court upon her arrival.
She added that she is currently having financial difficulties because of the pandemic, so she would like to withdraw her travel bond.
But the Sandiganbayan denied her plea. The court said: “It is of no moment that the accused personally appeared before the Division Clerk of Court and that she had no intention to violate her undertaking because her failure to fulfill her obligation is a violation in itself regardless of whether it is a result of a wrongful intent or even negligence.”
The court added that it cannot reconsider the forfeiture of Pensotes’ travel bond based on the negligence of her former counsel, because the responsibility to monitor matters relating to her case belongs mainly to her.
It pointed out that even if Pensotes is having financial difficulties now, it “could not therefore relax the strict application of the rules on the basis of humane consideration as prayed for by the accused.”
The court’s resolution was written by Associate Justice Alex L. Quiroz with the concurrence of Associate Justices Lorifel L. Pahimna and Bayani H. Jacinto.