Sandiganbayan convicts ex-PAF school head for graftBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines—The former president of the Philippine Air Force College of Aeronatics (Pafca) has been convicted of graft and corruption by the Sandiganbayan’s 5th Division in connection with the unlawful reimbursement of meal expenses in 1991.
In a 27-page decision released Wednesday, the anti-graft court, through Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo, meted Errol B. Perez, former PAFCA President, with an indeterminate penalty of six years and one day to 10 years maximum imprisonment after he was found guilty for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Associate Justices Roland Jurado and Alex Quiroz concurred in the decision.
Perez, former president of Pafca, now the Philippine State College of Aeronautics (PhilSCA), was also sentenced to suffer perpetual disqualification from public office, and was ordered to pay the government the amount of P240,000 as actual damages.
In a separate case, Perez was also found guilty of violation of Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code (Failure to Render accounts) for the sum of P65,000. The amount was released to Perez for a conference in Singapore, which did not materialize.
The graft case stemmed from the complaint against Perez by the Commission on Audit (COA) in response to the request of then Education Secretary Isidro Cariño.
State auditors found that there were disparities between the amounts reimbursed from the actual amounts in the official receipts paid.
It was also revealed that the reimbursements consisted of 21 receipts from six different first-class restaurants and five star hotels where the amounts were padded in a total of P240,000 by intercalating a number on the left side of the paid amount to make it bigger.
A receipt issued by the Fisherman’s Village of P2,910.60 became P12,910.60, while that of East Ocean Seafood Restaurant receipt for P671.50 became P19,671.50.
State Auditor Joana Roda Aca-ac testified that she personally verified with all the restaurants the real amount billed on the padded receipts.
Ombudsman Prosecutors were able to prove that these fraudulent receipts were padded by a low of P1,200 to a high of P20,000.
“There is no doubt in the Court’s mind that it was the accused himself who approved and received the proceeds of the Disbursement Vouchers covering the various falsified receipts,” the ruling stated