MANILA -- A former college dean of a state university is facing a 16-year prison term after the Sandiganbayan found her guilty of two counts of graft for the alleged illegal use of an auditorium for review classes in 2012.
The Sandiganbayan’s 7th Division, in a 21-page decision dated last January 25, found Southern Luzon State University College of Allied Medicine (SLSU-COAM) Dean Susana A. Salvacion guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Sections 3 (e) and (h) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”.
Salvacion was sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of at least one month to eight years for each count of the graft cases.
“Having been found guilty for both offenses, accused Susana Ariola Salvacion is perpetually disqualified to hold public office,” the Sandiganbayan said.
The cases were filed before the anti-graft court on Aug. 24, 2016 and a hold departure order was issued against Salvacion six days later on August 30.
She was ordered arrested on Sept. 14, 2016 and posted bail for her temporary liberty on September 23 that year.
The Office of the Ombudsman charged Salvacion with graft for allegedly illegally allowing her own private review center, Nurmed Hyperlearn Review and Tutorial Services (Nurmed), to conduct review classes at the COAM auditorium from April 16 to May 14, 2012 without a permit and a contract with SLSU for compensation of the auditorium.
She was also charged with graft for allegedly illegally promoting Nurmed as an alternative review facility to SLSU students who would be taking nursing licensure examinations.
She was arraigned on Oct. 17, 2016 and pleaded “not guilty”.
“In this case, it is obvious that Nurmed was favored. Verily, its review classes were conducted at the COAM auditorium, which whether accused Salvacion admits or not, is under her control and supervision being the dean of COAM,” the Sandiganbayan said in its ruling.
“The fact that it was the students who chose the venue is of no help. While students can choose, their choice is not controlling. Fact remains that an auditorium owned by a state university was used in favor of a private entity owned by no less than by one who has a ‘say’ in said university,” it added.
“Indeed, the Court finds the prosecution to have succeeded in its burden of proving its case. Having been found so, there is no need to discuss the evidence adduced by the defense, which the Court finds to be weak, more so, that her only admitted pieces of documentary evidence consisting of a letter request and the official receipts of payments are of little help or no help at all,” the Sandiganbayan said. (PNA)
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