• Former Higher Education official pleads not guilty graft over transcript mess


    A FORMER official of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) pleaded not guilty to a graft charge he was facing for allowing a university in Manila to issue transcripts of record to graduates of a course that was offered by its partner institution even after their agreement had been suspended.

    Executive Director 4 Julito Vitriolo, who is out on bail, is accused of allowing the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) to issue transcripts of records to graduates of the National College of Physical Education (NCPE), which offered Bachelor of Science and Masteral Degrees in PE.

    In the charge sheet filed before the Sandiganbayan in August, the Office of the Ombudsman alleged that Vitriolo “permitverbally the” PLM “to issue transcripts of record to its graduates, which the PLM and its officials implemented as in fact it issued transcripts of record and diplomas to said graduates even as the accused had prior knowledge…that as early as September 2008 the [then-]President of the PLM had suspended the Memorandum of Agreement between PLM and the National College of Physical Education (NCPE) that offered programs of Bachelor of Science and Masteral degrees in Physical Education…”

    Vitriolo was arraigned before the Sandiganbayan’s First Division on Friday morning.

    He is accused of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

    Vitriolo allegedly knew “that, as of 2009, the NCPE, which changed its name to Integrated College of Physical Education and Sports (ICPES), was no longer on the list of the CHED as among the institutions of higher learning in the National Capital Region…”

    Thereby, according to the charge sheet, Vitriolo allegedly gave “unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference to the PLM and the NCPE/ICPES, as well as some graduates of the said programs, and caus[ed]undue injury to the government and damage to the quality of tertiary education.”

    Section 3(e) of the anti-graft law prohibits public officers from causing undue injury to any party, or giving a private party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of their official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO



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