Accused’ death in P302-M Tesda scam boggles fiscals

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STATE prosecutors are dumbfounded if a former high-ranking official of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) is indeed dead after verification show that the National Statistics Office (NSO) has no record of his death certificate.

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The Office of the Ombudsman manifested in writing before the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division the inconsistency that they found out regarding the death of former Tesda deputy director general Rogelio Peyuan.

Peyuan is a co-accused of former Tesda director general Augusto Syjuco Jr. in the alleged P302-million overpriced kits for vocational training. The case was filed on April 26.

According to assistant special prosecutor Ma. Christina Marallag-Batacan, after the defense informed them on August 15 that Peyuan passed away. The defense gave fiscals a copy of the death certificate.

Still, the Office of the Special Prosecutor asked the anti-graft court to allow them to verify his death at the NSO.

In a reply from director Lourdes Hufana from the statistics agency, the prosecution was confronted with a startling outcome.

“Please be informed that verification made on his [Peyuan] death record yielded negative result,” Hufana told prosecutors.

Hufana asked for more “specific information” on Peyuan’s passing like the accused’s middle name and date and place of his death.

The prosecution then forwarded a copy of the death certificate to NSO for information, but to date the agency has not yet responded.

Due to this, Peyuan’s earlier motion to dismiss is still hanging in balance until prosecution confirmed from the NSO the demise of one of the defendants. JOHN CONSTANTINE G. CORDON

 

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