Ex-Abra state college prexy gets 18 years for anomalies

>> Saturday, January 28, 2017

BANGUED, Abra -- A former president of a state college of this province has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for allegedly implementing anomalous projects on campus.
In a 90-page decision issued over the weekend, the Sandiganbayan convicted Santiago Labanen, former president of the Abra State Institute of Science and Technology (ASIST), for violating Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Labanen was also convicted of malversation of public funds under the Revised Penal Code.
The anti-graft court ordered Labanen to pay a fine of P36,000 and forfeited his retirement benefits.
The case, filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 1993, stemmed from the renovation of the school’s dormitory and vocational building, construction of administration building and teachers’ cottage, and purchase of a used vehicle.
The allegedly anomalous projects were reportedly implemented when Labanen was school president from 1987 to 1988.
The court said the prosecution presented evidence showing no renovation was implemented in the dormitory and vocational building.
It said the construction of the administration building and teachers’ cottage were done without any approved plans, specification and work program, which resulted in an excess payment amounting to P449,065.
Labanen presented technical plans for the two buildings in 2002, but failed to present the same in 1989 despite demands by the Commission on Audit.
“Labanen’s documents were incredible,” the court said, adding the building plans were not signed and certified.
The prosecution said no public bidding was conducted for the purchase of the used vehicle worth P85,000.

The Sandiganbayan acquitted Labanen’s co-accused, former ASIST auditor Abraham Mendoza, after the prosecution failed to establish his guilt.


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