crimes in the Philippines

SC cleared Degamo of graft charges 10 days before he was killed
SC cleared Degamo of graft charges 10 days before he was killed

FILE PHOTO: Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo attends event giving aid to his constituents on February 25.

Roel Degamo Facebook page

(1ST UPDATE) The Supreme Court issued the ruling clearing Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo of malversation and graft charges on February 22, 10 days before he was attacked and killed

MANILA, Philippines – Before he was killed on March 4, the Supreme Court (SC) cleared Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo of malversation and graft charges in relation to the alleged misuse of P143.2 million calamity funds in 2012.

The 18-page resolution of the SC First Division was made public only on Wednesday, March 29, although the ruling was actually handed down on February 22, 10 days before Degamo was assassinated by a group of men.

Also cleared by the SC were Degamo’s co-petitioners: provincial treasurer Danilo Mendez, provincial accountant Teodorico Reyes, and private contractor Farouk Macarambon.

The High Court cited the principle of double jeopardy when it reversed and set aside the resolutions issued by the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division denying Degamo and his co-petitioners motion seeking the summary dismissal of the charges filed against them by the Office of the Ombudsman.

“The dismissal of the pending charges against petitioner is warranted on the ground of double jeopardy,” the Court resolution said.

In Article III, Section 1 (20) of the 1987 Constitution: “No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense.”

“Since the previously mentioned requisites for the attachment of double jeopardy are present, the charges pending before the Second Division of the Sandiganbayan should be dismissed,” the SC added.

In 2012, Degamo allegedly requested P480.7-million worth of Special Allotment and Release Order (SARO) for infrastructure projects that would rehabilitate the Negros Oriental, which was ravaged by Typhoon Sendong in December 2011.

He was accused of conspiring with his co-respondents to disburse P143.2 million from the P480.77 million SARO released to the province. But Degamo said this could not have happened because there were no funds to be disbursed since the said SARO had been withdrawn by the Department of Budget and Management on June 29, 2012.

The petitioners said they have already been acquitted by Third Division of the Sandiganbayan, which said they acted in good faith and there was no manifest partiality or gross inexcusable negligence on their part.

Degamo and 8 others were killed outside his family’s residential compound attending an aid event for 4Ps. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.