MANILA - Dismissed Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Executive Director Julito Vitriolo has pleaded not guilty to the graft charge against him over the alleged illegal issuance of transcripts of records and diplomas to students by the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) in 2010.
After his arraignment at the Sandiganbayan 1st Division, Vitriolo maintained that because of a Court of Appeals decision, he is still CHEd's executive director but with impeded functions.
Vitriolo was ordered dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman in January over the same charges but was later ordered reinstated by the Court of Appeals.
In September, CHEd Chairperson Patricia Licuanan clarified that the commission's executive director is Karol Mark Yee and that all transactions and documents signed by Vitriolo are deemed illegal and would no longer be honored.
Vitriolo is accused of giving permission to PLM officials to issue transcripts and diplomas to graduates of the National College of Physical Education despite the suspension of its memorandum of agreement with the university.
The registration of the NCPE was revoked in 2003 after it failed to comply with reportorial requirements. The program was suspended in 2008.
Vitriolo is facing one count of graft for allegedly causing undue injury to the “quality of tertiary education” when he allegedly gave verbal permission to PLM to issue the transcripts.
The anti-graft court, meanwhile, dismissed another count of graft against Vitriolo for allegedly receiving remuneration for the act, ruling that there was no evidence to prove this claim.