Sandiganbayan convicts Ex-PCGG Chair Sabio for graft 

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MANILA, Philippines– The Sandiganbayan convicted  former chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), Camilo Sabio for violating the anti-graft and corrupt practices act.

Sabio was  convicted of two counts of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019) with the corresponding penalty of six years to 10 years imprisonment for each count, including perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

The anti-graft court rendered a 20-page Decision which found Sabio’s act of entering into two lease agreements with UCPB Leasing and Finance Corporation, causing undue injury to the government in the amount of P12,127,610.00.

The UCPB Leasing corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the United Coconut Planters Bank and a sequestered company of PCGG.

Ombudsman prosecutors showed proof that PCGG, while still owning a total of 27 vehicles, leased from UCPB Leasing a total of 11 service vehicles without the benefit of a public bidding and an earmarked budget for the purpose.

Acknowledgement receipts were presented to show that PCGG leased five service vehicles in 2007 consisting of three Hyundai Starex for P3,654,000.00, one Toyota Innova for P973,000 and one Toyota Altis for P766,000.00; and six service vehicles in 2009 comprising of one Nissan Frontier for P1,198,110.00, one Toyota Fortuner for P1,447,700.00 and four Toyota Innova for P4,088,800.00.

The Toyota Fortuner and a Toyota Innova were assigned to Sabio, in addition to an Isuzu Crosswind that was already previously assigned to him.

“Adding the fact that there was no allotment for vehicles leases for the same years, we are left with the incontrovertible conclusion that Sabio was motivated by a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong when he subjected the PCGG, and the government to an expense which was essentially unnecessary given (1) the volume of usable vehicles it already has, and that (2) it was not within the approved budgetnor meticulously and judiciously planned,” the Court stated.

The Sandiganbayan however, dismissed the  charges against Sabio’s co-accused – PCGG ex-Commissioners Tereso Javier, Narciso Nario and Nicasio Conti  while ex-Commissioner Ricardo Abcede passed away during the pendency of the case with the Sandiganbayan.

The PCGG is a quasi-judicial agency created in 1986 by former President Corazon Aquino under Executive Order No. 1 to recover ill-gotten wealth accumulated by ex-President Ferdinand Marcos, his family and cronies.-Harold V. Pontongan/Newsline.ph

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