By Czarina Nicole Ong
The Office of the Ombudsman has scored a victory after Bonuso Libay, former Punong Barangay of Brgy. 772, Zone 84, District V of Manila, was convicted on two counts of graft and sentenced to eight years imprisonment for each charge.
He was convicted for violation of Sections 3(e) and 3(b) of R.A. 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act by Judge Rosalyn Mislos-Loja of Branch 41 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila.
Aside from imprisonment, Libay was perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
His case stemmed from a complaint made by Franco Espiritu of F.R.C.G.E Trading, a supplier. Espiritu testified that on January 20, 2012, Libay demanded and received P10,000 in exchange for the approval and signing of the disbursement voucher representing the payment of rice, paint and brushes which Espiritu delivered to the barangay.
As evidence, Espiritu presented an Acknowledgement Receipt signed by Libay himself.
Libay denied the charges, and even claimed that the signature presented by Espiritu was forged. However, the RTC rejected the defense of forgery since an examination made by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) concluded that “the questioned document [referring to the Acknowledgement Receipt dated 20 January 2012 and the standard sample signatures [of] Libay were written by one and the same person.”
The RTC concluded that Libay exhibited “evident bad faith” when he received the money as his share or commission in a government contract “of which he, in his official capacity, had the right to intervene.”