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Sandigan clears 3 Bataan officials of graft charges

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The Sandiganbayan has cleared three officials of the Bataan provincial government of graft charges arising from alleged falsification of documents pertaining to the procurement of a patrol boat in 2006,

The anti-graft court, in a 74-page decision, acquitted former provincial agriculturist Imelda Inieto, former supply officer Pedro Baluyot, and former treasury officer Francisco Caparas from charges of falsifying an acceptance and inspection report (AIR) on the questioned patrol boat deal.

Inieto was also given a clean bill of health on a charge of falsifying the memorandum receipt of equipment.

The anti-graft court ruled “there is no convincing evidence presented to prove that the patrol boat was not delivered” on the date stated in the AIR and the memorandum.

“A careful reading of the allegations in the informations show that the accused are actually being charged for altering the true dates (in the documents)” but under the law, the alteration must affect the veracity of the document or the effects to make an accused liable,” the resolution stated.

Based on the complaint, the respondents were accused of falsely stating that the patrol boat was delivered on January 18, 2006 as stated in the AIR; and that the vessel was acquired on January 24, 2006 as stated in the memorandum.

The Sandiganbayan said the prosecution failed to establish that the patrol boat was not delivered as indicated in the AIR.

“The prosecution did not present additional documentary evidence in the present cases to establish non-delivery of the subject patrol boat. That there was non-delivery of goods is a negative allegation,” the tribunal said.


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