Sandiganbayan convicts AFP supply officer for unlawful sale of generators

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MANILA: The Sandiganbayan has convicted a supply officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the unlawful sale of four generators worth PHP1.2 million.

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Engr. Dante Senen, Supply Accountable Officer of the AFP Military Supply Unit based in Cebu City was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, and malversation under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).

Senen was meted the penalties of six to ten years imprisonment for graft and 10 to 18 years for malversation.

The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) charged Senen before the Sandiganbayan in 2005 along with then Philippine Air Force (PAF) Brig. Gen Vladimir delos Trino, Maj. Antonio Jason Garcia and Antonio Ularte of Eduard Enterprises for the unlawful sale of four power generators valued at P1.2 million.

In a 20-page ruling written by Associate Justice Samuel Martires, the Sandiganbayan said that “the evidence presented is sufficient to prove the guilt of the accused as his actions from the time of the disposal of the generators amount to gross inexcusable negligence.”

“If accused Senen is indeed innocent or unaware of the grand plan of accused Delos Trino and Garcia, he should have immediately reported the incident to his commanding officer to properly address the same or prevent the disposal of generators,” Martires said.

Senen was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office and ordered to indemnify the government the amount of P1.2 million.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of P1.2 million.

Senen remained at-large during the trial, and was only arrested on Nov. 21, 2011 in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, or about six months after the Sandiganbayan convicted Delos Trino and Garcia.

Ularte remains at-large.

Senen was the accountable officer in charge of the generators which were found to have been sold to Ularte for only P800,000 without the benefit of public bidding, giving unwarranted benefit to Ularte to the prejudice of the government.

The proceeds of the sale remain unaccounted for.

In May 2011, the Sandiganbayan convicted Delos Trino and Garcia of graft.

In the 2011 ruling, the Sandiganbayan said that “the prosecution was adequately able to establish that through the illegal sale of the four generators, the PAF of the AFP lost P1.2 million in revenue.” PNA

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