MANILA, Philippines—The Office of the Ombudsman has asked the Sandiganbayan to allow the withdrawal of a graft case against former Records Management and Archives Office (RMAO) Director Ricardo Manapat after confirming that he had died.
In a motion filed in the antigraft court’s Second Division last week, Assistant Special Prosecutor Anna Leah Y. Tiongson-Mendoza sought to withdraw the graft information filed on Sept. 7, 2012.
The prosecution said it had received an authenticated copy of Manapat’s death certificate from the National Statistics Office showing that he had passed away on Dec. 24, 2008, due to a heart-related ailment.
After confirming the veracity of the defendant’s reported death, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved the withdrawal of the case on March 26.
Manapat was charged with graft for unlawful approval of a P48-million contract in 1996 to restore the Intendencia building in Intramuros, Manila, supposedly to house the RMAO. The contract was awarded to a consortium composed of C. L. Alma Jose and Sons Inc. and Vigen Realty and Development Construction Corp.
The Ombudsman questioned the validity of the transaction since at the time RMAO had no budget for such a project. Still, restoration work was started after the agency paid P10.56 million.
The late RMAO head figured in a controversy during the 2004 presidential election after he came out with papers that supposedly raised doubts about the Filipino citizenship of then presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. Cynthia D. Balana