Sandiganbayan affirms conviction of ex-Rep. Jaraula, Napoles, 3 others

Published June 4, 2021, 12:37 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki


The Sandiganbayan has affirmed the conviction of former Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Constantino G. Jaraula, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, and three others for graft and malversation in the misuse of P28.8 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in 2007.

Aside from Jaraula and Napoles, also upheld was the conviction of Technology Resource Center (TRC) Group Manager Ma. Rosalinda Masongsong Lacsamana, Legislative Liaison Officer and Sales and Promotion Officer V Belina A. Concepcion, and private individual Mylene T. Encarnacion.

They were sentenced to a prison term ranging from six to 10 years in each of their three graft convictions and were also ordered to indemnify the government in the sum of P28.8 million.

For malversation, they were meted out jail terms ranging from 12 to 18 years in each of the three counts and ordered to pay a fine of P28.8 million.

Only Jaraula was found guilty of direct bribery for which he was sentenced to a prison term ranging from four years, two months and one day to nine years, four months and one day. He was also ordered to pay a fine of P6 million.

Their other co-accused, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) officials Rosalinda Salamida Nunez, Lalaine Narag Paule, and Marilou Dialino Bare, were acquitted of all the charges for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Their motions for reconsideration were denied in a resolution written by Associate Justice Edgardo M. Caldona with the concurrence of Associate Justices Efren N. Dela Cruz and Geraldine Faith A. Econg.

But in the case of Conception, the anti-graft court decided to partially grant her motion and ruled that she should be convicted only in one count each of graft and malversation.

“With regard to accused-movant Concepcion, the Court limits her participation only with respect to criminal cases docketed as SB-15-CRM-0016 and SB-15-CRM-0021 for violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019, as amended, and Malversation, respectively,” the resolution stated.

In denying the motions for reconsideration filed by Jaraula and his group, the court said:

“It should be emphasized that the Court did not rely solely on the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses but also considered the voluminous documentary evidence presented to support its arguments.

“The other arguments raised by accused-movants in their respective motions are mere reprise of their previous assertions that have already been passed upon by this Court and found without merit.”