The Sandiganbayan has convicted John Kam, former officer-in-charge Governor of Northern Samar of Malversation of Public Property (Article 217, Revised Penal Code), and sentenced him to imprisonment ranging from 10 to 14 years with perpetual special disqualification. Kam was also ordered to pay a fine of
Ombudsman prosecutors established during the trial that Kam, an accountable officer by reason of his office, failed to promptly surrender after cessation from office, a Smith and Wesson gun, Bingham revolver and a Yamaha motorcycle despite demands to do so.
In a 16-page Decision, the anti-graft court stated that, “[a] thorough examination of the memorandum receipts in question yields that Kam himself signed the MRs, thus bolstering the prosecution’s claim that the properties in question were in his possession, as officer-in-charge of the Office of the Provincial Governor, from December 15, 1987, for the firearms, and from January 26, 1988, for the motorcycle.” The prosecution also proved that the said properties were not returned from the time he was sent a demand letter in March 1988, or at the time he was formally charged in a replevin case on April 1994, up to the time the criminal complaint was filed against him.
Malversation is committed by a public official who has custody or control of public funds by reason of the duties of his office and misappropriates, takes, or through abandonment or negligence, permitted another person to take the funds