Former DBP chairman is convicted of graft and estafa

Former DBP chairman is convicted of graft and estafa

 

The Sandiganbayan found former Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) chairman Vitaliano Nañagas II guilty of graft and estafa.

The anti-graft court sentenced Nañagas to imprisonment of 6 to 10 years for violatingSection 3(i) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, by "directly or indirectly becoming interested, for personal gain... in any transaction or act requiring the approval of a board... of which he is a member."

Nañagas was also sentenced to 4 to 12 years in jail for the first count of estafa against him, and another 4 to 14 years for the second count of estafa.

Prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman were able to prove that Nañagas received public funds for personal purchases he made while he was on a work-related trip to the United States in 2004.

The official trip, which took place from May 22, 2004 to June 8, 2004, "included time spent on personal business," said the Ombudsman in a statement on Monday, April 25.

When Nañagas requested for reimbursement of travel expenses, he also "included a total of P310,665.73 for personal expenses which included lingerie, underwear, and jersey shorts, and other personal gifts," said the Ombudsman.

The former DBP chairman also asked that additional expenses worth P66,374.28 be reimbursed, even if these were incurred in the Philippines and not during his trip to the US.

In a 36-page decision penned by Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, the court ruled that Nañagas "employed deceit in his claims for reimbursement" as he said that the purchases were "authorized, lawful, necessary and incurred in the discharge of official duties."

Aside from imprisonment, Nañagas must return to the government the P377,040.01 that he received in total.

"While the members of the [DBP] board and the chairman are entitled to allowable expenses, the same should be in connection with the discharge of their duties and responsibilities as such," said the Sandiganbayan.

 

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