Former Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Cecilia Rachel Quisumbing has failed to convince the Sandiganbayan that her criminal case of graft, bribery, and ethical breach shoud be dismissed.
The anti-graft court’s Second Division junked Quisumbing’s motion for reconsideration in a resolution promulgated on Aug. 28.
Quisumbing is facing charges of one count each of graft, direct bribery or extortion and violation of Section 7(d) of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
The charges arose from a complaint of her co-terminus staff, Ma. Regina Eugenio, accusing Quisumbing of promoting her from administrative aide 6 to senior administrative assistant 3, and of demanding and collecting her salary differentials of P41,292.85 from January 2013 to July 2013.
“An assiduous review of the records discloses that both testimonial and documentary evidence appears to be prima facie sufficient to sustain a conviction of the crimes charged,” the Sandiganbayan said.
“The Court stands by its opinion that burden of evidence is now shifted to the accused to contradict the evidence introduced against her.”
Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna authored the resolution, with the concurrence of division chairperson Associate Justice Oscar Herrera Jr. and Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi.
Ombudsman prosecutors said the promotion disregarded Civil Service Commission’s guidelines and was simply carried out “for the purpose of obtaining the subordinate’s salary differentials.”
The anti-graft court division earlier asked Quisumbing to present evidence to disprove the corruption charges filed against her by Eugenio for allegedly collecting money in exchange for the promotion of her staff.
The court also earlier denied Quisumbing’s motion for the court to dismiss outright the charges against, citing weak evidence.
Instead, the anti-graft court, in a July 20 resolution, said prosecutors were able to present strong evidence to back allegations against Quisumbing of one count each of graft, direct bribery or extortion and violation of Section 7(d) of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
Quisumbing earlier maintained her innocence in the charges of direct bribery and violation of RA 6713 since there was no proof that she received the money from Eugenio.
As far as the graft case is concerned, she said there was insufficient evidence to support the alleged undue injury to the complainant or the imputed manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or inexcusable negligence on her part.
She claimed that the money was not converted to her personal benefit but was entrusted to the CRVQ Office fund, saying that sum remained intact.