Nov 21, 2020 @ 20:33

Sandiganbayan clears ex-PRC officials over Baguio building lease

A ruling by the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court has cleared former officials of the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) of graft charges over the lease of a building in Baguio City for the agency’s regional office.

In a 77-page decision dated November 20, the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court’s 6th Division, through Associate Justice Sarah Jane T. Fernandez, acquitted former PRC chairperson Teresita R. Manzala, commissioner Alfredo Y. Po, PRC-Baguio director Teofilo M. Sison Jr., chief professional regulations officer Sarah A. Tabije, and supervising professional regulations officer Tricia D. Camara.

They were accused of intervening in the lease of office space for the PRC’s Baguio office without competitive bidding in 2011 for PHP6.67 million.

Associate Justices Karl B. Miranda and Kevin Narce B. Vivero concurred in the court’s findings that there was no evidence showing that the Commission on Audit disallowed the rental payments made to the lessor and noted that PRC-Baguio was able to use the building under the contract of lease.

“The prosecution failed to show any undue injury suffered by the government as a result of the accused’s acts,” the court said.

In 2019, the Sandiganbayan acquitted Manzala of similar charges of conspiring with Po, New San Jose Builders, Inc. president Cesar Sanqui Jr., and first vice president Mary Grace Villacorta in the bidding for a contract to lease deal office spaces at the Victoria Towers in Quezon City. (PNA)

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