Sabio v. Sandiganbayan


Sabio v. Sandiganbayan

G.R. No. 233853-54

July 10, 2019


                That on 18 April 2007, or sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in Mandaluyong City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused Camilo L. Sabio, a high ranking public officer, being then the Acting Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), conspiring, confabulating, and confederating with Ricardo M. Abcede, Tereso L. Javier, Narciso S. Nario, and Nicasio A. Conti, then PCGG Commissioners, while in the performance of their official functions as such, taking advantage thereof and committing the offense in relation to office, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and criminally give unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to UCPB Leasing and Finance Corporation, a sequestered company of PCGG, thru gross inexcusable negligence, evident bad faith, or manifest partiality, by entering into and/or cause the entering into a Lease Agreement dated 18 April 2007 with the said leasing corporation for the lease of five (5) service vehicles through negotiated procurement without the required public bidding under Section 10 of Republic Act 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act) for the total amount of P5,393,000.00, to the damage and prejudice of the government and to the detriment of public interest.


                Whether or not the Sandiganbayan erred in convicting petitioner.


                No. he following are the elements of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019: 1.The offender is a public officer; 2. The act was done in the discharge of the public officer's official, administrative, or judicial functions; 3. The act was done through manifest partiality, evidence bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence; and 4. The public officer caused any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or gave any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference. In the instant case, there was bad faith on the part of Sabio in entering into the subject lease agreements based on the following: (1) for not undertaking the required procurement process; and (2) subjecting government funds to unnecessary expenditure without pre-allocation and the necessity for the same. The lease agreements between the PCGG and UCPB Leasing involving the eleven (11) vehicles in the years 2007-2009 were awarded to the latter without conducting public bidding. This is a clear violation of R.A. No. 9184. Moreover, it was shown that there was no allotment for the lease of the subject vehicles. Petitioner clearly disregarded the law meant to protect public funds from irregular or unlawful utilization. In fact, petitioner admitted that the lease agreements were not subjected to public bidding, because it is their position that the PCGG is exempted from the procurement law and that they were merely following the practice of their predecessors. This is totally unacceptable, considering that the PCGG is charged with the duty, among others, to institute corruption preventive measures. As such, they should have been the first to follow the law. Sadly, however, they failed. Moreover, at the time of the execution of the lease agreements, Sabio was a member of the Board of Directors of the UCPB, the parent company of UCPB Leasing. This fact bolstered the presence of the fourth element, that there was unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference given to UCPB Leasing. As correctly ruled by the Sandiganbayan, Sabio's acts unmistakably reflect "a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong; a breach of sworn duty through some motive or intent or ill will."


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