Quezon City — The Office of the Ombudsman won two cases over P7.8 million vehicle repair scam undertaken in 2001 by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) officials.
The anti-graft court or Sandiganbayan said, seven officials including three private individuals were involved in “ghost” repairs and purchased of spare parts for the service vehicles of the agency.
DPWH Director III Burt Favorito, Officer-in-Charge Assistant Director Florendo Arias, Chief Maximo Borje, Equipment Inspector Rolando Castillo and Chief Erdito Quarto were found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for falsification of public documents and violation of Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or Republic Act No. 3019.
Representatives of car repair shops were also convicted by the Sandiganbayan named Janette Bugayong of GK & J Auto Repairs, Augusto Capuz of BIZTRADE and Vicente Santos of VIC-SAN Motorworks.
Accused officials and private individuals face 10 years of imprisonment for each count of graft and 10 to 20 years for each count of estafa. They were also charged a total of P7, 866,631.00 as civil liability.
In addition, DPWH employees suffer disqualification from holding public office, cancellation of civil service eligibility, and forfeiture of retirement benefits.
During the trial, Ombudsman prosecutors proved that all the accused personalities made illegal plans for the reimbursement of “ghost” vehicle repairs and purchases of spare parts.
“Considering that there were never any repairs done on the subject vehicle, the facts narrated by the accused are absolutely false,” Sandiganbayan said.
The intention of the accused was clearly to injure the government, Sandiganbayan added. (LMC/MLF)