The Sandiganbayan has found actor and politician Roderick Paulate guilty of graft and falsification charges in connection with the hiring of ghost employees during his stint as Quezon City councilor in 2010.
The anti-graft court, in a 130-page decision dated Nov. 25, also sentenced him to at least 10 years minimum jail time for the offense stated.
The court said Paulate recommended the hiring of 30 individuals under job contracts who received wages from July to December 2010 even if their Personal Data Records were questionable.
“Given the above findings and in addition to the other pieces of evidence presented, the prosecution has well established that the entries in the Personal Data Sheet (PDS) of the job contractors were indeed falsified,” the anti-graft court said.
“The defense did not give any logical explanation for the glaring inaccuracies of the entries in the PDS or adduce any evidence to show the truth thereof,” it added.
Aside from Paulate, the anti-graft court sentenced his co-accused, Vicente Bajamunde, who served as his then-driver/liaison officer, to 6 to 8 years jail time and perpetually disqualified from public office for their graft conviction.
In addition, the court also ordered Paulate and Bajamunde to jointly and severally pay the government P1.109 million, with an interest of 6 percent per year, until fully paid.
Paulate was also sentenced to six months to six years in jail and pay a fine of P10,000 for each of the eight counts of falsification of public documents. Bajamunde was acquitted in these same eight cases for the failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
The Sandiganbayan also sentenced Paulate with 6 months to 6 years in jail time and a fine of P10,000 for his conviction on the falsification by a public officer charge.
Paulate and Bajamunde have yet to issue a statement on the matter as of press time.