Ex-QC counselor and actor-comedian Roderick Paulate found guilty of one count of graft and nine counts of falsification and may face up to 62 years of jail time.
Ex-actor and former Quezon City councilor Roderick Paulate was found guilty by the Sandiganbayan on December 2 of one count of graft and nine counts of falsification of public documents for hiring “ghost employees.”
Not long after being elected as QC’s second district councilor in 2010, Paulate was suspended from July to November that year due to falsification of documents but the Office of the Ombudsman only filed the case in 2018.
According to the court, Paulate recommended the hiring of 30 job contractors and received wages from July to December 2010 every 15th and end of each month with the ex-councilor attesting that the contractors were working 40 hours each week, reported Manila Times.
Another irregularity that the court found was that the employees hired by the office of Paulate had no records of birth; no clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation; no traces of them at their given residences; not registered to vote in their respective barangays and no evidence of school records.
“It is quite a coincidence that not a single entry or detail in all the PDS presented by the prosecution was correct,” read the statement that is part of the 130-page decision promulgated on Nov. 25, authored by l by Associate Justice Zaldy Trespeses as reported by Inquirer.
“Thus, it can be reasonably concluded that the PDS of the job contractors were all fabricated.”
Vicente Bajamunde, Paulate’s driver, was designated as the liaison officer, allowing him to transfer the contractors' salaries in bulk into his name.
With these findings, the court sentenced Paulate of at least 10.5 years to 62 years of imprisonment, six to eight years for the graft offense while six months to six years was given for each falsification offense including eight for public documents, and one by public officer.
Bajamunde was acquitted of the falsification charges but was also convicted for graft.
A total of ₱90,000 was ordered to be paid by Paulate for each count of the falsification offense and was fined ₱1.1 million, together with Bajamunde, which is equivalent to the amount that they were accused of pocketing through the “ghost employees”.
Paulate is yet again a reminder how a man in position can easily abuse his power in such a short span of time, given the opportunity.
Tags: #politics, #corrupt, #QC