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Ex-state university president gets 10 years for graft

/ 11:02 PM April 15, 2016

The former president of Batangas State University (BSU) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for requiring students to pay internet fees which only ended up in his pockets.

The Ombudsman in a statement on Friday quoted a decision from the Sandiganbayan Special Second Division that Ernesto de Chavez was convicted of graft for violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

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According to the court, De Chavez and his vice president for academic affairs Rolando Lontok Jr. illegally collected P550 from each student as school internet fee.

Witnesses said the fee collection was not sanctioned by the school board and not supported with official receipts.

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The collected fees ended up in the personal bank accounts of De Chavez and Lontok.

“The system of collection and disbursement of expenses designed by the accused also gave them unwarranted benefit, allowing them to spend the internet fund [totaling close to P500,000.00] as they please, since it would no longer be subjected to the usual procedure of procurement and accounting required for public funds,” the court said in its decision.

De Chavez was sentenced to serve jail term from six to ten years and was also meted the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from public office.

The case of Lontok remains pending as he is at large.

In 2012, Chavez and Lontok had been convicted by the Sandiganbayan of graft for unlawfully requiring students to pay P140 to their class treasurers to rent graduation gown and caps from De Chavez’s gown rental business.

They were both sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of six years and one month to 10 years imprisonment and perpetual disqualification from public office. RC

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TAGS: Batangas State University, Ernesto de Chavez, Graft
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