MANILA, Philippines – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has affirmed the graft conviction of former Quezon City councilor Roderick Paulate over the hiring of ghost employees in 2010.
In a 26-page resolution dated January 23, 2023, the Sandiganbayan 7th Division denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Paulate and his staff, Vicente Bajamunde, in relation to their November 25, 2022 conviction.
“We deny the motion for lack of merit. After a careful perusal of the arguments raised by accused, the court finds no cogent reason to disturb its earlier findings,” the court said.
The court affirmed their conviction on one count of graft punishable by six to eight years imprisonment, and as well as Paulate’s guilty verdict on nine counts of falsification of public documents, which carries a prison term of six months to six years and a fine of P10,000 for each count.
The defendants had argued that the court erred in requiring the defense to prove that the contractual employees in question were real persons. Paulate also claimed that the prosecution failed to prove that he had prior knowledge that the job contractors under his office payroll were fictitious.
The court, however, stood by its November 25, 2022 decision, noting that the former councilor failed to submit evidence to back his argument that the 30 names in the payroll were real employees.
“It bears to note that those names/people were recommended by accused to be hired, he certified that they performed work for 40 hours per week, he signed their payroll, and denied that they are ghost employees,” the anti-graft court said. – Rappler.com
This should serve as a warning to Politicians. They should avoid hiring “ghost” employees. But it seems that there are other politicians who have similar cases, but are overlook by the Sandiganbayan?