Gov't prosecutors on a winning streak (Rappler)

The Office of the Special Prosecutor was on winning streak last week, pulling off 10 convictions in a span of 8 days.

The verdicts in 4 cases, involving 5 government officials, were handed down between November 14 and 21. They are related to cases of graft, malversation, and the mishandling of government funds.

In one case, two persons were convicted on 7 counts of malversation.

The cases involved:

  1. Masbate provincial cashier Orlando Sanchez and private defendant Romeo Sañano – 7 counts of malversation of livelihood assistance funds to different barangays and municipalities. Sanchez, who is at large, received 12 to 18 years and 8 months imprisonment for each count (84-130 years and 6 months). Sañano, on the other hand, voluntarily surrendered, receiving 10 to 17 years and 4 months in jail per count (70 - 121 years). A fine of P499,200 was also imposed, with an order to pay Masbate a similar sum as a civil liability, with a 6% yearly interest until fully paid.

  2. Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) Nursing Board examiner Anesia Buenafe Dionisio – She received a 6-year prison term for leaking of test questions during the June 2006 Nursing Licensure Examinations.

  3. Victoria M. Amante, former member of the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Toledo City, Cebu – She received a 6-month prison sentence for her failure to liquidate P71,095 in cash advances in December 1995. She was also fined P1,000.

  4. Domingo G. Panganiban, former municipal mayor of Sta Cruz, Laguna – He received a 10- to 18-year jail term for malversation of public funds due to his failure to return a P500,000 cash advance that he failed to use after passing up a month-long official trip to Adelaide, Australia, in 2006. He also received a P463,931.78 fine representing the balance of his cash advance that was not immediately paid up when ordered by the Commission on Audit.

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