Ex-Quezon City councilor’s graft conviction stands

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Ex-Quezon City councilor’s graft conviction stands

Former Quezon City councilor Dante de Guzman says his signature was forged. The Sandiganbayan, however, is not convinced.

MANILA, Philippines – Former Quezon City councilor Dante de Guzman’s appeal to reverse the Sandiganbayan’s decision in April 2024 to convict him on four counts of graft was junked by the anti-graft court.

In a resolution dated June 26, the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division affirmed that De Guzman was guilty of failing to distribute P6.4 million worth of supplies in 2008 and 2009.

De Guzman was sentenced to six to eight years imprisonment for each count of graft or a total of 24 to 32 years and was ordered to pay the Quezon City government P6.4 million subject to 6% yearly interest until fully paid.

The former councilor was found to have signed off on purchase requests for custom-made tents worth P3.5 million, sports supplies worth P2.8 million, kiddie raincoats and rubber boots worth almost P1 million, and P352,986 worth of food supplies supposedly for distribution among residents. These items never reached Quezon City residents, based on an audit.

De Guzman denied his involvement in the matter, claiming that his signatures were forged.

However, the court was not convinced of De Guzman’s defense, noting that differences in the signatures were not enough to prove that they were forged.

“The mere fact that there are differences in the appearance and characteristics of the questioned signatures and standard signatures does not necessarily mean that the questioned signatures were forged,” the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division said. –

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