FORMER Philippine National Railways general manager Manuel Dinamarca Andal has been convicted of two counts of graft by the Sandiganbayan in connection with the anomalous procurement of railroad supplies in 2009 without going through the required public bidding.
Fourth Division Associate Justice Bayani H. Jacinto penned the 23-page decision sentencing Andal to eight to 12 years in jail for each count or a total of 16 to 24 years.
Associate Justices Alex L. Quiroz and Lorifel Lacap Pahimna concurred.
Andal was also ordered to indemnify the government P86.505 million equivalent to the sum of the two transactions.
Based on separate information filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2018, Andal was accused of favoring suppliers Pandrol Korea Limited and Nikka Trading when he entered into contracts with them to deliver rail fastenings, clips, insulators, and anti-vandal concrete sleepers.
Prosecutors noted that for the Pandrol Korea deal, the PNR Board authorized Andal to enter into direct contracting with the supplier subject to the conformity of then Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza.
Andal, however, entered into a supply contract with, then authorized payment to Pandrol Korea without first securing permission from the DOTC secretary.
In the second case, the prosecution said Andal did not consult the PNR Board when he signed the contract with Nikka Trading.
In both transactions, graft investigators said the requirement for public bidding was ignored.
The court affirmed the findings of the Ombudsman that Andal violated the provisions of the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The court required Andal to indemnify the government based on the finding that the P86.505 million delivery made by Nikka Trading was not signified as necessary by the PNR’s Board of Director.
“Hence, it was clearly shown that the government suffered damage in the amount of P86,505,000 which reflects the amount paid per the said contract,” it added.