MANILA - The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division has acquitted former Philippine Marines chief Renato Miranda and two other officers in their graft and malversation cases stemming from the allegedly anomalous disbursement of P36.768 million as clothing allowance for soldiers in 1999.
The anti-graft court said in its decision promulgated on Oct. 9, 2020 that the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of Miranda, as well as then marine officials Adelo Jandayan and Felicisimo Millado.
In the informations filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against the former military officials, there was alleged conspiracy for the disbursement of 19 checks for the payment of Combat Clothing Allowance and Individual Equipment Allowance (CCIE) and making it appear in liquidation payrolls that the marines actually received their allowances when they did not.
The court, however, found during trial that based on a re-audit conducted on the P43.5 million CCIE funds, there were actual purchases of supplies for marine soldiers.
“Thus, there could be no injury to the government since the CCIE funds were appropriated according to its purpose, which is to purchase clothing and equipment items, hence, not intended to be given in cash,” the court said in the decision penned by Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez, with the concurrence of Presiding Justice and Division Chairperson Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Ronald Moreno.
The court also ordered that hold departure orders against the acquitted individuals be recalled and their bonds released.
The cases involving other marine officials Jeson Cabatbat and Edmund Yurong were ordered archived as they remain at-large.