Comedian-turned-politician Paulate faces 10 years imprisonment over ‘ghost employees’ case

Comedian-turned-politician Paulate faces 10 years imprisonment over ‘ghost employees’ case

By Rjhay E. Laurea

QUEZON CITY — Actor and former Quezon City Councilor Roderick Paulate was sentenced to at least 10 years imprisonment as the Sandiganbayan found him guilty of graft and falsification charges for hiring fictitious job contracts in 2010 during his stint as Quezon City councilor according to an online report.

The anti-graft court issued the 130-page decision last November 25 where they favored the government prosecutors who were believed to be able to prove the guilt of Paulate online newspaper Politiko said in a report on Saturday (03 Dec 2022).

It was gathered that Paulate recommended the hiring of 30 individuals under job contracts who received wages from July to December 2010 even if their Personal Data Records were riddled with irregularities.
The Sandiganbayan said the government prosecutors were able to establish that the said job order employees have no records of birth; none of the job order employees have requested a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance; the job order employees could not be located at their given residences; the job order employees were not registered voters of their respective barangays, and the job order employees have no record in the schools where they allegedly attended.

As per the Sandiganbayan decision, “given the above findings and in addition to the other pieces of evidence presented, the prosecution has well established that the entries in the Personal Data Sheet (PDS) of the job contractors were indeed falsified.”

It added that “the defense did not give any logical explanation for the glaring inaccuracies of the entries in the PDS or adduce any evidence to show the truth thereof.”

Aside from Paulate, his co-accused and then-driver/liaison officer Vicente Bajamunde was also sentenced to six to eight years in jail and is perpetually disqualified from public office for their graft conviction.

Both of the respondents were also ordered to jointly and severally pay the government a total amount of P1.109 million, with an interest of 6% per year, until fully paid.

The actor was also sentenced to another six months to six years in jail and pay a fine of P10,000 for each of the eight counts of falsification of public documents while Bajamunde was acquitted on the said cases.

The anti-graft court also slapped Paulate with another six months to six years in jail with a fine of P10,000 for his conviction on the falsification by a public officer charge.

Paulate failed to convince the anti-graft court that certifications from schools and barangays may be able to prove that a person is not a student or a resident, but they do not conclusively prove that the job contractors are fictitious the report further stressed.

The Sandiganbayan pointed out that Paulate’s argument does not amount to a convincing defense that deserves credence from the court. (ai/mtvn)

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