CA affirms Neri’s guilt in NBN deal
MANILA, Philippines—The Court of Appeals has upheld with finality its ruling that former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri was administratively guilty of simple misconduct in connection with the controversial NBN-ZTE deal that rocked the Arroyo administration in 2007.
In a two-page resolution, the court’s Former Sixth Division dismissed for “lack of merit” Neri’s motion for reconsideration of its July 3, 2013, ruling that also ordered Neri fined six months’ worth of his salary.
The appeals tribunal also denied a separate motion for reconsideration filed by Neri’s accusers, led by the late activist priest Fr. Joe Dizon, who had questioned the court’s downgrading of the offense to simple misconduct from grave misconduct, which the Office of the Ombudsman had found Neri guilty of, in April 2009.
“[I]t is apparent that the argument raised by the parties had been exhaustively considered and duly adjudicated by this court in the formulation of the assailed decision… Thus, to discuss again its ratio decidendi (the rule of law on which a judicial decision is based) would be to belabor the issues without end,” the court said in a decision written by Justice Edwin Sorongon.
Justices Hakim Abdulwahid and Marlene Gonzales-Sison concurred with the ruling.
In his motion for reconsideration, Neri maintained that there was no sufficient and valid basis to administratively find him guilty of simple misconduct. He said the fact that he had dined with ZTE Corp. and Chinese embassy officials, and played golf with former Commission on Elections Chair Benjamin Abalos Sr. did not prove that he (Neri) had been persuaded to approve the ZTE proposal.
CA affirms guilty ruling on Neri over ZTE deal
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