The Sandiganbayan convicted two retired and seven active police officials for graft in connection with the P38 million worth of ghost purchases in 1992.
In a 44-page decision penned by Associate Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo, the Anti- Graft Court’s Fifth Division meted out a penalty of 6 years and 1 month to ten years imprisonment against Chief Supt. (ret.) Everlino Nartatez; Sr. Supt. (ret.) Alejandro A. Camello; Supts. Obedio Espeña and Alejandro Camello; Chief Inspectors Jose de Vera and Adolfo Pamplona Sr.; Sr. Insps. Lloyd Cawan and Leo Marzan; and PO3 Ramon Lihay-lihay for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti- Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).
The Court ordered them to pay the government jointly and severally the amount of P 38,275,573.50 that was paid for by the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the Combat Clothing and Individual Equipment (CCIE) but were never delivered.
They were also perpetually disqualified from holding any government position.
Records of the case showed that to avoid scrutiny by higher authorities, the multi-million peso deal was maliciously divided into 29 purchases orders from February to June 1992.
Then Director of the PNP Logistics and Support Command Nartatez, was the one who approved the purchase orders (POs) where the splitting of contracts occurred.
Marzan acted as the purchasing officer while Espeña, then chief of the PNP Procurement Center, was the one who requested the purchases of the equipment.
The one who recommended approval of the POs and certified that the expenses were necessary and lawful was Camello, according to the records.
The rest, meanwhile, were found guilty of conspiring with the higher ranking officials when they signed the inspection and acceptance report to make it appear that there was actual delivery of the CCIE.
The Prosecution Team led by Deputy Special Prosecution John I. C. Turalba of the Office of the Special Prosecutor was able to prove that there were no deliveries made of the said equipment.
In its ruling, the Court noted that there was “a pattern of splitting the POs and checks so the[se] may fall within the signing authority of accused Nartatez. This casts serious doubt on the regularity of the issuance of the POs, DVs (disbursement Voucher), and checks payments.”
Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Alex L. Quiroz and Roland B. Jurado. Ombudsman Media Bureau