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MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan acquitted Teresita Manzala, former Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) chairperson, of graft charges that stemmed from an allegedly anomalous lease contract involving a property lease in 2012.
The prosecution failed to present proof beyond reasonable doubt that Manzala and other accused PRC officials committed graft, according to a 39-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Zaldy Trespeses of the Sandiganbayan Seventh Division.
In 2015, the Office of the Ombudsman accused the Manzala of conspiring with former PRC Commissioner Alfredo Po, New San Jose Builders Inc president Cesar Sanqui Jr, and first vice president Mary Grace Villacorta to rig the bidding for a contract to lease deal office spaces at the Victoria Towers in Quezon City.
Manzala testified, however, that she actually she approved the resolution that declared a failure of negotiations. There were no notice of award, notice to proceed, and contract awarded to New San Jose Builders.
“To the Court, such act of accused indicate good faith on her part. As a result of the said (BAC) resolution, no contract was awarded to NSJBI and the government did not pay any amount to the latter,” the decision read.
The anti-graft court had earlier acquitted Manzala’s co-accused: Po, Sanqui, and Villacorta in May. – Rappler.com