Court convicts ex-BFP chief for graft

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The Sandiganbayan’s Third Division has convicted former Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Chief Francisco Senot and former BFP Finance Service Unit Chief Florante Cruz of estafa and graft in connection with fictitious repairs of two vehicles owned by the BFP in 2001.

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In an 86-page decision, the anti-graft court found Senot and Cruz guilty beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced them to six up to 10 years imprisonment with temporary absolute disqualification and perpetual special disqualification from the right of suffrage and six up to eight years imprisonment with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

In each of the five cases of estafa, the two defendants were fined P5,000 each.

The court said the two former officials “caused the falsification of the supporting documents of the disbursement vouchers by making it appear that certain BFP officials and employees prepared certain documents when they in fact did not, to make it appear that repairs were made, when in fact, as herein found by the Court, no such repairs were done on the Besta van and the Elf truck.”

It found that Senot and Cruz “abused their respective official positions to influence the prosecution witnesses into signing the documents supporting the disbursement vouchers.” REINA TOLENTINO

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