Sandiganbayan acquits ex-Cebu City councilor

Published February 24, 2022, 11:40 AM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki


The Sandiganbayan has acquitted former Cebu City Councilor Gerardo A. Carillo of the graft charge filed against him in the appointment of a city employee in 2013.

Carillo was accused of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for allegedly giving unwarranted benefits to Michael E. Abellana who was appointed administrative aide III in the Sangguniang Panglungsod with a monthly salary of P10,401 from July 1, 2013 teo Dec. 24, 2014.

The prosecution alleged in the graft case that Abellana did not render any service to the city government as Carillo reportedly allowed the appointed employee to work, during office hours, as a cook in Baryo Grille, a restaurant owned and operated by the councilor’s friend.

But no documentary evidence was presented to prove that Abellana indeed worked at the restaurant during office hours, the Sandiganbayan said.

The court noted that Carillo’s former Administrative Assistant Rune T. Maquiling, who was presented as prosecution’s witness, only made “vacuous assertions” that did not even corroborate the actual hours of operations of the restaurant nor the specific circumstance of former councilor’s directive to Abellana to work in the restaurant.

The Sandiganbayan said: “The abject failure to substantiate the claims constituting the complaint therefore leads to no other conclusion but the acquittal of the accused. No discussion on the existence of the other two elements of the offense (the modality and effect of the unlawful act) can even take off because the dolus (intent) itself was not proven with the certainty necessary for a conviction.”

The 17-page decision was written by Associate Justice Oscar C. Herrera Jr. with the concurrence of Associate Justices Michael Frederick L. Musngi and Bayani H. Jacinto.