Ex-CAAP deputy chief convicted in graft case, acquitted in another
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has convicted a former deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) for issuing an invalid air carrier operating certificate (ACOC) in 2008.
In the First Division’s decision dated June 14, Daniel Dimagiba was found guilty for violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, when he gave One Sky Aviation Services Inc. (OSASI) the said certificate even if the company did not have the pre-required permits.
However, he was acquitted in a case where he was accused of blackmailing two flight captains into changing the failing check ride grades given to two other captains.
In the case where he was found guilty, Dimagiba claimed he gave OSASI the ACOC as he was verbally ordered by former Director General Ruben Ciron to oversee the operational functions. He contended that Ciron at that time was not yet accustomed to CAAP rules.
“He averred that he did not request a written authority from DG Ciron as based on his experience, most military men give authorizations only verbally; and thus, he needed to follow his verbal directive,” the decision penned by First Division chair Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz.
However, the anti-graft court was not convinced by Dimagiba’s claims, saying that he should show official documents that Ciron authorized him.
“The accused acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or, at the very least, with gross inexcusable negligence when, without authority, he issued the third ACOC in violation of the law,” the court said.
“Considering that the law explicitly vested upon the Director General of CAAP the power to issue an ACOC, the accused cannot claim good faith when on his own, and without showing authority from DG Ciron, he issued the subject ACOC to OSASI,” it added.
The Sandiganbayan also noted that if Dimagiba were diligent enough, he would have deferred giving the ACOC to OSASI because they lack a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN).
“Here, the parties stipulated that OSASI did not apply for and was never in possession of a CPCN, which is a condition sine qua non before an ACOC can be issued,” the First Division noted.
Dimagiba is sentenced to six years and one month up to a maximum of 10 years in prison. He is also disqualified from holding any public office.
Bail bonds posted for the case he was acquitted from have been ordered released while the hold departure order was lifted and set aside. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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