Ex-CSU prexy convicted of graft

By Perfecto Raymundo

MANILA, (PNA) — The Office of the Ombudsman has won the graft case filed against a former president of the Cagayan State University in a 47-page ruling promulgated by the Sandiganbayan.

The Sandiganbayan’s Special Second Division found Armando B. Cortes guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Cortes was sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of six years and one month, as minimum, to 10 years, as maximum, with perpetual disqualification from public office.

The Sandiganbayan found Cortes and Joseph Acorda, former CSU vice president for Administrative Affairs and chairman of the Pre-Qualification, Bids, and Awards Committee, entered into a contract in 1996 with Orlino Rabara, owner of ACI Aneco Computers, Inc. for the purchase of ₱1.2-million worth of computer network system.

It added the Commission on Audit found out the purchase of the items was made without bidding or canvass of prices, thereby giving unwarranted benefit to ACI Aneco.

In the ruling written by Associate Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and concurred in by Associate Justices Roland Jurado and Alexander Gesmundo, the Sandiganbayan said “accused Cortes indisputably gave unwarranted benefit to ACI Aneco Computer, Inc. when he awarded to it the contract for the supply of the computer network system without public bidding or canvass of prices.”

“ACI Aneco Computer profited from the transaction without showing that its offer was the most advantageous to the government,” the ruling said.

Meanwhile, in the same ruling, the Sandiganbayan acquitted Cortes, Acorda and Rabara on another graft case involving the alleged irregular purchase of medical/laboratory supplies worth P170,950 “for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”

The cases against another accused Bienvenido Bernardino, former Internal Control Auditor of CSU, were earlier dismissed in December 2008 in view of his death.