Due to a special audit report made by the Commission on Audit, an internal investigation was conducted by the police to verify certain allegations that “ghost” purchases of “combat, clothing, and individual equipment (CCIE) worth P133,000,000.00” were made by the police’s service store system and delivered to its general services command. In reality, no actual transactions took place and the funds used to purchase the ghost equipment were divided among the involved policemen for personal gain. Ten policemen were implicated in the investigation and charged for violation of Sec. 3(e), R.A. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Section 3(e) provides –
Section 3. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful x x x x
(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.
The essential elements for a violation of Sec. 3(e) are the following: (a) the accused was a public officer discharging administrative, judicial, or official functions; (b) he acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence; and (c) his action caused any undue injury to any party, including the government, or gave any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his functions.
The Sandiganbayan found all elements of the crime present in this case. The decision was affirmed by the Supreme Court –
As to the first element, it is undisputed that both petitioners were public officers discharging administrative functions at the time material to this case.
As to the second element, records show that Vinluan, in his capacity as Chairman of the Inspection and Acceptance Committee, signed the 16 certificates of acceptance, inventory, and delivery of articles from the PNP SSS despite its incompleteness or lack of material dates, while Lihaylihay certified to the correctness of the Inspection Report Forms even if no such deliveries were made… Hence, having affixed their signatures on the disputed documents despite the glaring defects found therein, petitioners were properly found to have acted with evident bad faith in approving the “ghost” purchases in the amount of P8,000,000.00. To note, their concerted actions, when taken together, demonstrate a common design altogether justifies the finding of conspiracy.
Lastly, as to the third element, petitioners’ participation in facilitating the payment of non-existent CCIE items resulted to an P8,000,000.00 loss on the part of the government (Lihaylihay v. People, G.R. No 191219, 31 July 2013, J. Brion).