DOJ dismisses qualified theft case vs IT contractor
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed for lack of merit a qualified theft case filed against officials of Dermalog, an information technology contractor of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
The DOJ resolution, which was promulgated last July 20, overturned the earlier decision of the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office finding probable cause to charge the Dermalog officials— namely Gunther Mull, Randolf Sitz, Michel Schutt, and Lourilyn Ocampo.
In a message to INQUIRER.net, the LTO clarified that it had nothing to do with the case.
The case was filed by Dermalog’s local partner, Verzontal Builders.
In 2018, the LTO awarded a P3.1-billion IT project to a joint venture that was composed of Dermalog for 40 percent, Holy Family Printing Corp. for 30 percent, Verzontal Builders for 25 percent, and MicroGenesis for 5 percent.
In its complaint, Verzontal said Dermalog still owed it 25 percent despite its having pulled out of the project with unfinished work.
But in the resolution, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said the Verzontal demand lacked merit, saying that there was no qualified theft.
“Wherefore, the instant petition for review is hereby GRANTED, and accordingly, the assailed resolution of the Office of the CITY Prosecutor of Quezon City finding probable cause against respondents-appellants Gunther Mull, Randolf Sitz, Michel Schutt, and Lourilyn T. Ocampo for the crime of qualified theft is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE,” the DOJ decision stated.
Earlier, the LTO chief, Assistant Secretary Teofilo Guadiz III, said the agency was looking for other IT providers in a possible bid on system automation.
In a later statement, however, he explained that the LTO had no intention of replacing Dermalog “because doing so at this time will produce more problems instead of solutions.”
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