Sandiganbayan convicts ex-Baliwag mayor of graft

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Sandiganbayan convicts ex-Baliwag mayor of graft

ANTI-GRAFT COURT. The Sandiganbayan in Quezon City, June 30, 2018.

Darren Langit/Rappler

Ex-mayor Carolina Dellosa is sentenced to prison for six to eight years for favoring Freeway Motor Sales Baliuag in procuring a P1.2 million Mitsubishi sports crossover

MANILA, Philippines – Anti-graft court Sandiganbayan convicted former Baliwag, Bulacan mayor Carolina Dellosa of graft for an anomalous procurement in 2014 of a service vehicle worth P1.2 million.

The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division, in a 35-page decision on March 3, sentenced Dellosa to prison for six to eight years, with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Ronald Moreno. Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez concurred.

The decision stemmed from the case that alleged Dellosa violated Republic Act (RA) No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act when she approved the procurement of a specific brand of service vehicle, giving distributor Freeway Motor Sales of Baliuag Corporation “unwarranted benefit, advantage, or preference.”

“It is patently clear from the reading of the resolution that the subject vehicle was procured with only the Mitsubishi brand in consideration, in violation of RA No. 9184,” the Sandiganbayan said in the decision.

The prosecution presented documents allegedly signed by Dellosa that recommended the purchase of one unit of “2.0L Mitsubishi MIVEC DOHC 4B11 1998 CC Active Sports Crossover.”

Dellosa had denied signing the Bids and Awards Committee Resolution No. 15, but the anti-graft court said the former local chief executive failed to prove otherwise.

“The rule is that one who disavows the authenticity of his or her signature on a public document bears the responsibility to present evidence to that effect,” the court said.

In addition, National Bureau of Investigation Senior Document Examiner Romeo Magcuro Jr. revealed in his comparative examination that there were “significant similarities in the handwriting characteristics and habits between the questioned signatures” on the resolution signed by Dellosa and her specimen signature.

“The court finds accused Carolina L. Dellosa guilty of violating Section 3(e) of RA No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), as amended,” the decision read.

Dellosa served as municipal mayor of Baliwag from 2013 to 2016. The municipality has since been converted into a component city of Bulacan. –

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