Philippines: 4 former DA officials cleared of graft charges

For lack of evidence, the Sandiganbayan has acquitted four former officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) of their graft charges involving P2.49 million.

Acquitted were former DA Regional Executive Director XI Roger Chio, Finance Division Chief Alma Bermejo Mahinay, Administrative Officer V Godofredo Arce Ramos, and Regional Agricultural Engineering Division Chief Onofre Mariano Nugal.

The Sandiganbayan’s decision dated Feb. 5, 2021 was written by Associate Justice Michael Frederick L. Musngi and concurred in by Associate Justices Oscar C. Herrera Jr. and Associate Justice Bayani H. Jacinto.

The prosecution alleged that in September 2005, the four DA officials gave unwarranted benefits and advantage to PMKD Enterprises in the purchase of 81 sets of multi-purpose tents for P2,496,582 without pre-procurement or pre-bid conference.

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