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Former Oriental Mindoro Governor Rodolfo Valencia

Sandiganbayan convicts Mindoro Ex-Gov

Former Oriental Mindoro Governor Rodolfo Valencia
Former Oriental Mindoro Governor Rodolfo Valencia

Former Oriental Mindoro Governor Rodolfo Valencia and Edelbert Uyboco, president of Gaikoku Trading Company, were found guilty of violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).

In a 27-page Decision, the Sandiganbayan determined that in 1993, the province of Oriental Mindoro purchased ten units of reconditioned dump trucks for P6,994,286.00 through direct procurement from Gaikoku Trading Company without conducting public bidding.

The court cited the audit conducted by the Commission on Audit (COA) which determined that the province was a direct importer of the dump trucks and Gaikoku acted as import-in-charge. It found that Gaikoku was paid in full despite the grant of tax exemption in favor of the province.

The Sandiganbayan considered the tax exemption privilege and determined that the total acquisition cost of the dump trucks amounted to only P4,594,119.87, resulting in an overpayment of P2,400,166.15.

“These acts of accused Rodolfo Valencia constitute not only of fraud but also indicate a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity, the conscious doing of a wrong, and a breach of sworn duty through some bad motive or intent or ill-will,” the Decision stated.

The court found conspiracy between Valencia and Uyboco, as the procurement of the overpriced dump trucks could not have been made possible without each other’s participation and cooperation

Valencia and Uyboco were each sentenced to imprisonment of six (6) years and one (1) month as minimum to ten years as maximum. They were also ordered to jointly and severally indemnify the Province of Oriental Mindoro in the amount of P2,400,166.15, representing the excess payment made to Gaikoku.

Carlo Maramot, then Officer-in-Charge of the Provincial Government Services Office, was acquitted of the charges.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.