A MANILA sheriff and his female cohort were sentenced by Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 to four years up to 18 years in prison for estafa and ordered them to pay the victim P250, 000 plus six percent yearly interest from May 3, 2004 until the full amount has been paid.
Romulo Agcaoili and Nena Rodrigo failed to release several vehicles supposedly coming from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) after receiving cash for them in 2004.
In a 10-page joint decision, the judge found Agcaoili guilty of estafa beyond reasonable doubt sentencing him to four years up to 18 years in prison in criminal case number Q-09-161485.
Agcaoli was also asked to pay the complainant Mercedita Bantaya P250, 000 plus annual interest until fully paid.
In addition, he is being asked to pay Bantaya P20,000 for moral damages and P15,000 for exemplary damages.
But in another criminal case, Agcaoili, was also found guilty of estafa beyond reasonable doubt sentencing him to another prison term of four years to 20 years.
In the second case, he was asked to pay the complainant, Rudy Ballena, the amount of P375,000 with the interest of six percent per annum from May 3, 2004 until being fully paid.
The court also ordered the accused to pay Ballena P20, 000 as moral damages and P15, 000 as exemplary damages.
The case stemmed from the period of May 3 to May 7, 2004 where the accused hoodwinked the complainants into believing that they could release several Mitsubishi Adventure for P125, 000 each.
Complainant Bantaya gave P205,000 while Ramsay Tabing and Ballena handed P375,000 to the accused as evidenced by the receipts shown in the court.
Being co-members of the Couples for Christ congregate, Agcaoili announced in a prayer meeting on April 2004 about the impounded vehicles at the BOCthat were being sold.
He said his goddaughter Rodrigo could facilitate the release of the vehicles from the BOC. But he did not deliver the vehicles and on May 12, 2004 the complainants found that Rodrigo was not an employee of the BOC.
With the help of the National Bureau of Investigation, Rodrigo was tracked down and promised that the money of the complainant would be returned on May 13, 2004.
Agcaoili told the complainants that he will let Rodrigo stay in his house but his co-accused was allowed to leave and is nowhere to be found.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges as he maintained that he never forced the other members of the Couples for Christ to buy the vehicles offered by Rodrigo and merely informed them about the supposed deal offered at the BOC.