Sandiganbayan denies travel request of Syjuco co-accused

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2018 04:46 PM

MANILA - The Sandiganbayan 7th Division has denied the travel request of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) bids and awards committee member Ernesto Beltran for telling the court that he is unemployed when it turned out he has a consultancy job.

Beltran is a co-accused of former TESDA Director-General Augusto Syjuco Jr. in a graft case over an allegedly anomalous transaction in 2007 for a computer management system worth P30 million.

Beltran had told the court that he has to travel to Kentucky, Indiana and California from April 7 to May 1, 2018 for a business trip so that he could “retain his consultancy, which is presently his only source of income.”

“The Court cannot reconcile accused Beltran's previous representation that he is jobless with his present claim that he intends to go on a business trip to maintain his consultancy position with Hytec Power Inc,” the court said in its resolution signed by 7th Division Chairperson Maria Dolores Gomez-Estoesta and Associate Justices Zaldy Trespeses and Bernelito Fernandez.

The court noted that Beltran earlier asked for a reduction of his bail bond from P30,000 to P15,000, saying he lacked a source of income. The court granted this plea. 

In his motion for reduction of bail, Beltran had said that “having retired from government service with no other source of income or livelihood, accused mostly rely on the generosity of their children for support and daily sustenance.”

But aside from rejecting Beltran's travel request, the court also compelled him to explain his consultancy job.

“Additionally, accused Beltran is directed to show cause within five days from notice why he should not be cited in contempt of court for deliberately misleading the court to grant his motion for reduction of bail by failing to disclose the consultancy position with Hytec Power Inc,” the court said.