The Sandiganbayan First Division convicted former senior Filipino naval officers Rear Admiral Constancio Jardiniano, Jr. and Lt. Commander Manuel Gimena of misuse of public funds for failing to raise at least P83.934 of P343.297 in public funds within their jurisdiction.
In a 69-page judgment dated October 25th, the Anti-Transplant Court endorsed the prosecution’s evidence, which includes the audit commission’s report showing that the liquidation receipts for the purchase of drugs in 2006 from, among others, The cash advance of P343.297 paid for by Jardiniano, Jr. and Gimena – the commanders at the time, and Gimena, respectively – was attached to it.
Since they were fake, the COA issued a rejection notice and asked the Navy officers in question to reimburse the said amount.
Likewise, the Anti-Transplant Court weighted the statements made by representatives of pharmacies and other companies such as Farmacia Pascasio, Farmacia Callo, FR Estrada Pharmacy and Medical Clinic, Kimayong Variety Store, Standard Blue Auto Supply, Kabayan Meat Shop and Rice Supply and Ronnette’s Educational Supply, which all of the COA’s results confirmed that sales and cash invoices were forged under their respective company names.
Jardiniano also signed a withdrawal slip and check from the Land Bank of the Philippines numbered 72661 for the payment of the cash advance worth P343.297.
“This documentary evidence shows the involvement of both defendants in their preparation by the appearance of their signatures on the documents. All of this proves that the cash advances in question were received by the defendants, ”said the Sandiganbayan.
“It should be emphasized that in this case the defendant did not provide a satisfactory or reasonable excuse for the disappearance of the funds mentioned. They were also unable to show the amounts mentioned and they were not in the possession of the auditor [Carlito Castañeda] Varias issued them the AOMs (Audit Observation Memorandum) to inform them of the non-approval, ”added the Sandiganbayan.
In addition, the anti-graft court pointed out that utility officials who allegedly provided Gimena with the proven receipts were not presented.
“The defense of the defendants has not broken the legal presumption,” said the Sandiganbayan.
Their convictions meant Jardiniano, Jr. and Gimena face four to eight years in prison.
Likewise, they will be forever disqualified from holding public office and fined 83,934 pesos. —KG, GMA-News