Sandiganbayan affirms graft conviction of businessman

Published April 20, 2021, 12:12 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Sandiganbayan has affirmed its Aug. 26, 2020 decision that convicted a businessman of graft in connection with the purchase of tires which were not delivered to the municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental in 2002.

(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Affirmed were the conviction of Donald B. Villademosa, owner of Villtrade Marketing, and the 10-year imprisonment imposed on him for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Villademosa’s co-accused – former Mayor Gerry Jovilla Morales, Municipal Engineer Roseller Nazareno Macayra, Municipal Accountant Emeritos Morales Jovilla, Municipal Treasurer Francisco Serra Jimenez Jr. had been convicted in 2014.

They were charged with graft for purchasing P101,086.37 worth of tires from Villademosa’s company, a firm dealing with farm animals and general merchandize.  The tires were not delivered to the municipality.

The 2014 Sandiganbayan decision stated that “by allowing the disbursement of public funds in the amount of P101,086.37 and paying the same to the Villtrade Marketing despite the fact that no tires were delivered, accused caused actual damage to the municipality of Baganga and conferred unwarranted benefit to Villtrade Marketing.”

Acquitted in the 2020 decision was Municipal General Services Officer Reymundo Mandawe Escamillan.  Villademosa and Escamillan’s case was tried separately from those of their co-accused.

Villademosa appealed the 2020 decision. He told the anti-graft court that there were “serious grounds” which render him innocent of the charge, such as the failure of the prosecution’s witness to prove that he himself “actively participated” as a signatory in the allegedly spurious transaction.

He also cited the “epic failure” of the prosecution to authenticate his purported signatures on the documentary exhibits.

His appeal via a motion for reconsideration was denied by the court in a resolution written by Associate Justice Kevin Narce B. Vivero.

The court pointed out anew that “no tires were actually delivered, thereby unjustly enriching accused Villademosa at the expense of the government.”

“Wherefore, the motion for reconsideration filed by accused Donald B. Villademosa is denied for lack of merit. Accordingly, the Court’s Decision dated Aug. 26, 2020, is hereby affirmed in toto” (in full or completely), the court ruled.

Associate Justices Sarah Jane T. Fernandez and Karl B. Miranda concurred.

 
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