News Briefs: March 21, 2017
Stories from across the Philippines on Tuesday, March 21

Hospital official gets 6 years for hiring sister

MANILA, Philippines – A Quezon City court has convicted a former hospital executive of graft over the hiring of her sister into a company which had existing contracts with the hospital.

QC Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 88 convicted Monica Tierra, former chief of the General Services Division (GSD) of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), of graft and sentenced her to 6 years in prison.

In her ruling, Presiding Judge Rosanna Fe Romero-Maglaya said Tierra “caused the hiring” of her sister, Rosalinda Alvaro, into Philcare Manpower Services in 2004. PhilCare, at the time, had an existing contract with PCMC.

According to the ruling, evidence showed that Tierra recommended her sister for employment with the company.

She was convicted for violating Section 3(d) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which prohibits public officers from “accepting or having any member of his family accept employment in a private enterprise which has pending official business with him during the pendency thereof or within one year after its termination.” – Lian Buan

Sandiganbayan affirms grave threat case vs PDEA-Central Luzon chief

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Central Luzon chief Juvenal Azurin will stand trial for a grave threat case, after the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan affirmed the case filed against him by the Office of the Ombudsman last year.

“The accused-movant has failed to raise any new or substantial matters that would warrant a reconsideration of the Court’s Resolution promulgated on December 16, 2016,” the court said in a 6-page resolution penned by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang. 

Associate Justices Sarah Jane Fernandez and Bernelito Fernandez concurred.

Complainant Jaime Clave, a PDEA agent, alleged that Azurin threatened to kill him in a phone call on November 13, 2013, when both served PDEA-Region 2.  Azurin accused Clave of tainting his reputation through negative reports sent to the PDEA central office, which the complainant denied.

Azurin sought the dismissal of the case after Clave issued an affidavit of desistance but the court thumbed down his motion.

“In a catena of cases, the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that courts must not attach any persuasive value to an affidavit of desistance which comes after the institution of a criminal action in court. The rationale for this is that in a criminal prosecution, the aggrieved party is the People of the Philippines whose collective sense of morality, decency, and justice has been outraged,” the court said. –

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