A former Undersecretary for Finance of then Department of Education, Culture and Sports has been found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of six counts of violation of Section 3(e) and one count of Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019). Adriano Arcelo, who served as concurrent President of Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE) was convicted of five counts of Malversation for which he was sentenced to imprisonment of 10 to 18 years for each count. He was also ordered to pay a fine of
P6,554,500.00 as part of his civil liability.
The court also convicted FAPE Vice President Roberto Borromeo, Investment Director Rosa Anna Duavit and Program Officer Corazon Nera of multiple counts of graft and Malversation.
Ombudsman prosecutors proved that from 1994 to 1995, Arcelo obtained personal loans sourced from FAPE funds totalling
P6,554,500.00. It was also uncovered that Arcelo, et. al. approved the grant of a P50 million loan to the John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation, an educational institution chaired by Arcelo’s spouse. The multi-million peso loans were secured through the undue accommodation extended by Borromeo, Duavit and Nera.
The anti-graft court ruled that in violation of the FAPE Manual, Arcelo displayed evident bad faith, when he obtained and received the personal loans with full knowledge of the nature of the FAPE funds as public funds. The court added that the FAPE funds were specifically allotted for assistance to private education, and not for any unrelated matters such as the granting of personal loans to a FAPE officer.
“Instead of private educational institutions, the one who benefits is a FAPE officer tasked to ensure that the funds are managed in a prudent and judicious manner,” the court stated.
FAPE is a government-owned foundation created in 1968 under Executive No. 156. It aims to provide a permanent trust fund to finance various programs of assistance to private education in the form of scholarships, grants, faculty incentives and other beneficial programs. To date, FAPE, under the Senior High Voucher Program of DepEd, is responsible for the distribution of discount vouchers to incoming Grade 11 under the K+12 program of the government