Sandiganbayan acquits retired Coast Guard commandant of graft
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has acquitted a retired Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant, Adm. Wilfredo Tamayo, of graft in connection with the payment to a supplier despite allegedly incomplete deliveries, a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The unanimous decision dated Sept. 17 was penned by Justice Alex L. Quiroz, chairperson of Sandibangbayan 4th Division.
Tamayo was charged for allegedly approving a disbursement voucher for the full payment of P9.59 million for all the Special Maritime Advance Rescue Team items despite supplier Joshwell Trading having only made partial deliveries.
The court ruled that the report did not mention any undelivered items, meaning that the equipment was inspected and found to be in order.
“Had the delivery been incomplete, the inspectorate team would have specified what and how many items are missing,” the decision said. “Most importantly, the incomplete items would have been returned to the supplier.”
“Considering that the appropriate boxes were ticked accordingly and underneath the same were signatures of officers attesting to its veracity, this Court finds no reason to doubt what clearly appears in the document — that there is complete delivery and the items were inspected, verified, and found in order as to quantity and specification,” the decision further read.
The court pointed out: “In criminal prosecution, the court is always guided by evidence that is tangible, verifiable and in harmony with the usual course of human experience and not by mere conjecture or speculation. While guilt should not escape, innocence should not suffer.”
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