THE Office of the Ombudsman has filed a graft case at the Sandiganbayan against a former postmaster general and two others over the alleged illegal refund of P53.04 million to the US branch of the Philippine Postal Corp. (PPC) in 2003.
Charged along with PhilPost Postmaster General Diomedio Villanueva were then-Assistant Postmaster General Antonio Siapno and then-Accounting Department Acting Director Leonido Basilio.
In a charge sheet filed on November 17, the Ombudsman alleged that the three accused, “conspiring and confederating with one another,” “cause[d]undue injury to the PPC and g[a]ve unwarranted benefit to Philpost USA…by refunding to the said corporation the sum of US$1,031,936.04 or its equivalent amount of” P53,043,834.52 when Philpost USA was supposedly “not entitled thereto.”
The sum represented “the alleged Terminal Dues paid for mail matters sent to Royal Mail (UK Post Office),” according to the charge sheet.
The Ombudsman recommended P30,000 bail for each accused.
In June 2017, the Ombudsman filed a similar case at the anti-graft court against Villanueva, Siapno, and Basilio but the court’s Seventh Division dismissed the case in August because the charge sheet was “defective.” MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO