Regional Trial Court Branch 46 Judge George Patriarca dismissed yesterday the graft and corruption charges filed against two officials of the Carlos A. Hilado Memorial State College in Talisay City, Negros Occidental ten years ago for the procurement of several instructional materials.
In his 14-page decision, Patriarca dismissed the charges against delivery inspector and college professor Renato Salmingo and supply officer Leofredo Faicol because of the failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Patriarca also ordered the cancellation of the bonds posted by both accused put up by Great Domestic Insurance Co. of the Philippines Inc. and by Centennial Guarantee Assurance Corporation.
In dismissing the charges, Patriarca ruled that there was no evidence of such a crucial nature, which indicates that they indeed committed the offense charged against them.
Patriarca emphasized that, to be liable for the provisions of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the partiality must be manifested, the bad faith must be evident, and the negligence must be gross and inexcusable.
Court record show that Salmingo and Faicol allegedly certify the delivery of school supplies valued at P7,458 on December 1998, when they were not, in fact, delivered then but was delivered instead on May 2000 after the payment to its supplier Trans Negros Marketing was made on June 1999.
Salmingo, in his defense, told the court that on December 1998, one of the employees of their supply office brought to him some documents and informed him that the instructional materials were already received.
He said that, believing in good faith in the signatures appearing on the documents, he signed the delivery inspection report.
Faicol, on the other hand, stated in court that before the payment for the items was made, the memorandum receipt and the requisition and issue voucher were submitted to the accounting office.
He also said that the items were already delivered at the same time as the payment and that, together with Salmingo, they inspected the items at his office.
Presented as prosecution witnesses to strengthen the charges against the accused were State Auditor Aireen Bonghanoy, CAHMSC Human Resource Management Officer and former Storekeeper Viola Mongcal and associate professor Cesar Biñas.*APN