MTC convicts village chief for violating public ethics

MANILA -- The Manila Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) has found Rolando Bohol, the Chair of Barangay 375, Manila, guilty of violating of Section 7(d) of Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Bohol was charged on the basis of the complaint filed by the owner of Aljon Trading (Aljon) who alleged that the accused demanded and received PHP50,000 on Dec. 16, 2010 as commission for projects awarded to Aljon.

Prosecutors of the Office of the Ombudsman presented Allan Garcia of Aljon, who testified that after completing the delivery of supplies and materials to the barangay, Bohol refused to process the disbursement voucher and check representing the payment to the contractor.

It was only upon payment of the commission to Bohol that Aljon received its check on Jan. 28, 2011.

In a 15-page ruling, the Manila MTC said, With the sequence of events, it points to the conclusion that accused indeed directly requested or demanded from the private complainant a share or commission in the subject transaction prior to his approval of the covering disbursement voucher, which act was made in the course of his official duties, as he is the approving officer thereof.

Private complainant would really have no option but to succumb to the demand, lest he remains unpaid for the purchases already delivered to the barangay. Thus, to the mind of this Court, the liability of the accused for the offense charged attaches, it added.

Bohol was sentenced to pay a PHP5,000 fine with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

He was also ordered to indemnify Aljon the amount of PHP50,000.

Source: Philippine News Agency