Graft conviction of ex-NPO execs stands: Sandiganbayan

    525

    FORMER National Printing Office (NPO) director Emmanuel Andaya and five members of the agency’s bids and awards committee have failed to convince the Sandiganbayan to vacate its September 25, 2020 decision convicting them for graft and meted penalties of six to 10 years imprisonment with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

    Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang penned the 20-page resolution issued February 22, 2021 denying the joint motion for reconsideration of all six defendants challenging the court’s pronouncement that they acted with gross inexcusable negligence and gave unwarranted benefit to a private contractor.

    Associate Justices Bernelito R. Fernandez and Ronaldo B. Moreno concurred.

    Based on the assailed decision, Andaya was found guilty of favoring contractor Advance Computer Forms Inc. in the award of a P1.9 million supply contract for the printing of 1,000 boxes of NBI Clearance Certificates without a competitive public bidding. Also convicted were Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chair Sylvia Banda, and BAC members Josefina Samson, Antonio Sillona, Bernadette Lagumen, and Zita Maria Gracia Enriquez.

    The court said the accused NPO officials unlawfully resorted to emergency procurement of printing services for NBI clearance certificates to sidestep the requirement for public bidding.

    It noted that the pre-conditions for an alternative mode of procurement were not complied with in violation of RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Law.