Former Sorsogon gov gets 12 years for corruption

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    FORMER Sorsogon governor Raul Lee has been convicted by the Sandiganbayan on two counts of graft together with former provincial General Services Officer Teresita Paladin over an anomalous procurement of information technology equipment worth P10 million in 2005.

    The anti-graft court’s Sixth Division held Lee criminally liable for approving the release of P10 million as payment to supplier-contractor First Education and Training Ventures Inc. (FETVI) even if there were short deliveries of computers and software and many of the items did not comply with the specifications of the contract.

    Paladin, inspection officer Manuel Laurora, and accounting clerk Felicisimo Brondial were found guilty of gross inexcusable negligence for signing the inspection and acceptance report which made it appear that the purchases were delivered in full and in satisfactory condition.

    Prosecutors said among those delivered were second-hand computers that contained unauthentic software.

    In the second graft case, only Lee and Paladin were convicted for approving the contract with FETVI without holding the required public bidding.

    All accused were sentenced to six to eight years for each count with an accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office.