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Ex-DepEd official guilty of graft

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A FORMER Department of Education (DepEd) regional director was found guilty of graft and malversation of public funds amounting to P6.1 million by the Philippines’ anti-graft court.

In a 53-page decision promulgated on June 11, the Sandiganbayan First Division convicted the former DepEd official posted in Zamboanga and ordered him to return the P6,164,424.43 he transferred from the agency’s payroll fund to a private bank account in 2007.

Imprisonment of up to 27 years and perpetual disqualification from public office was meted out by the court on the convicted official.

“The fact that he affixed his signature on the authorization to transfer the funds and on the check to facilitate the withdrawal of the amount shows that he permitted the taking of the money from the government,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Geraldine Faith A. Econg.

The DepEd accountant in the province, a co-accused in the case, was acquitted of the charges as the prosecution failed to establish her guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Associate Justices Efren N. De la Cruz and Juliet A. Manalo-San Gaspar concurred with the order. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio

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