Court orders arrest of former PNPA director convicted of graft
The Sandiganbayan has ordered the arrest of a former director of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) after he was convicted of graft for his role in overpricing a building at a state college in Tawi-Tawi.
In a resolution promulgated Aug. 15, the anti-graft court Third Division said it denied the request of Dionisio Coloma Jr., former regional director of the Philippine National Police-Eastern Visayas, for the court to no longer issue any warrant of arrest after the entry of judgement was made in his conviction.
The court said it is duty bound to issue the arrest warrant even though Coloma said he would voluntarily surrender to the Sultan Kudarat provincial governor due to his frail health.
The court denied Coloma’s request to serve his six-year sentence at the Davao Penal Colony.
The court said because Coloma is from Sultan Kudarat, he should be committed to the San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Sur to serve his sentence.
The court also found no merit in Coloma’s claim that he being a national prisoner sentenced to more than three years in jail should be committed to the Bureau of Corrections.
“The Court finds the accused’s motion bereft of merit. Once the judgment of conviction becomes final and executory, the trial court has the ministerial duty to immediately execute the penalty of imprisonment and or pecuniary penalty,” the court ruled.
The court sentenced Coloma to six years imprisonment with lifetime ban from holding public office.
While Coloma elevated the case to the Supreme Court, the high court sustained the Sandiganbayan’s decision in a ruling on September 2014 which became final and executory on February 2015.
“Thus, there is no sound reason why the judgment against the accused, which became final and executory on Feb. 28, 2015, should not be executed,” the Sandiganbayan said.
“Wherefore, the court denies accused Dionisio Coloma’s motion asking the court not to issue anymore a warrant for his arrest, considering his purported intent to surrender voluntarily. Accordingly, let a warrant of arrest … be issued for the execution of judgement …” the court added.
In its decision penned by Associate Justice Alex Quiroz, the court ruled that Coloma overpriced the construction of a Regional Training Site (RTS) in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, causing undue injury to the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC), the state college there.
The court said the building was ovepriced at P5.7 million, even though it was only pegged at P3.1 million.
Coloma caused undue injury to the PPSC when he disbursed the full payment of P5.73 million to a contractor in 2001 even though the building was not yet finished. The building was intended to be a barracks for 50 people.
Documents from the PPSC showed that Coloma signed the project as an overseer, and that in October 2001 he made it appear that the building was nearly done even though it was not yet completed as of June 2002.
The court said the prosecution was able to prove that Coloma “acted with evident bad faith in his transactions concerning RTS 9.”
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