Devanadera loses case vs Batangas electric co-op
The Supreme Court Third Division ruled that former Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera abused her power in ordering the indictment and arrest of eight former directors of Batangas II Electric Cooperative (Batelec II) seven years ago.
In a decision handed down on Dec. 19 but released only on Wednesday, the high court ruled that Devanadera and Regional Trial Court of Lipa City Branch 12 Judge Danilo Sandoval committed grave abuse of discretion when they indicted and issued a warrant of arrest against the former Batelec II directors and committed a “gross error” in finding probable cause to file a case of syndicated estafa against them.
The decision is seen as a vindication for former Batelec II directors Jose Rizal L. Remo, Reynaldo G. Panaligan, Tita L. Matulin, Isagani Casalme, Cipriano P. Roxas, Cesario S. Guiterrez, Celso A. Landicho and Eduardo L. Tagle, who were accused of swindling cooperative members when they agreed to enter into an P81-million deal for system-wide computerization of the cooperative and purchase of 10 boom trucks.
More than a decade after entering into these contracts, the Supreme Court ruled that these were done in good faith.
Aside from Devanadera and Sandoval, the others charged in the case were Prosecutor Carlos Ballelos, Batelec II, Ruperto H. Manalo, National Electrification Administration, Lourdes Cruz, Virginia Borja, Edgar de Guzman and Rodulfo Canlas.