MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Sandiganbayan on Wednesday, August 28, ordered the arrest of former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Avelino “Sonny” Razon Jr and 32 others for graft and malversation charges.
The anti-graft court’s sheriff was on his way to serve the warrant on Razon and his co-accused with the assistance of the police, according to court insiders.
The warrants were based on a criminal case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman on July 11 over the anomalous repair and maitenance of several light armored vehicles (LAVs) in 2007.
Razon’s co-accused are former and incumbent PNP officials and several private individuals, including two former Philippine National Police comptrollers: Geary Barias and Eliseo de la Paz.
They face multiple indictments: graft and malversation. Graft is a bailable case, but the Ombudsman recommended no bail for the malversation charges faced by the principal accused.
Based on the anti-graft court’s resolution dated Tuesday, August 27, “no bail is set or fixed at this time” for the principal accused such as Razon, Barias and De la Paz since they were charged with malversation “for which bail is not a matter of right.”
In a 68-page Joint Order last July 11, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales dismissed the motions for reconsideration and reinvestigation filed by the respondents. The joint resolution finding probable cause to indict them was issued on December 28, 2012.
The Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices established that Razon, upon assuming the top PNP post, requested for a budget to supplement what had already been requested by his predecessor, then PNP Chief Director General Oscar Calderon, on August 14, 2007.
Calderon had requested P275.37 million for 10 units of V-150 LAVs for the PNP Special Action Force. When Razon took over, he requested additional budget to repair and refurbish 18 more LAVs. This caused the total amount to balloon to more than P400 million.
The complaint alleged irregularity in the “bidding process, awarding of contracts and utilization of funds intended for the repair/refurbishment of 28 V-150s of the PNP.”
The respondents were charged for graft and for malversation through falsification over any or all of 4 acts: purchase of 40 tires for the LAVs; anomalous repair and maintenance of the 10 initial V-150 LAVs; the repair and maintenance of another 18 V-150 LAVs; and the disbursement of PNP funds originally allotted for transportation and delivery expenses.
Check the names of all the accused here. – Rappler.com