QC assistant prosecutor found guilty of bribery
Updated (8:34 p.m.)
The Sandiganbayan has found a Quezon City assistant prosecutor guilty of direct bribery, after he reportedly demanded money from a complainant in exchange for a favorable decision for a case filed in 2014.
The decision made by Associate Justice Rafael Lagos, which was made public Wednesday, stated that Assistant Prosecutor Edgar Navales “willfully, unlawfully and feloniously demand and receive P100,000” from Reynaldo de Leon, who filed a complaint against three individuals before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.
“The Court finds accused Edgar Navales guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code,” the decision read.
According to the anti-graft court, all four elements of direct bribery can be found in Navales’ case — first, he is a public officer; second, he accepted a gift; third, the present or token was given in exchange for an act which is unjust; and fourth, the act he agreed to perform was in connection with his official duties.
While Navales admitted that he indeed received money (P103,000) from the De Leon, it was a loan, not a bribe. He also cited that during the span of his career, he never gave favors in exchange for monetary gain.
Navales was arrested on December 1, 2016, and posted bail on December 13 of the same year. On January 25, 2017, during the arraignment of his case, he pleaded not guilty to charges against him.
He would serve a sentence ranging from six months to a maximum of two years and four months of jail time.
He was also given a Special Temporary Disqualification as an additional penalty, which means that he is stripped of his job as assistant prosecutor and right to suffrage while he serves his sentence. /ee