The Sandiganbayan has cleared former Nueva Ecija lawmaker Rodolfo Antonino of graft and malversation charges over the misuse of at least P14.5 million worth of priority development assistance fund.

At the promulgation on Thursday, the anti-graft court said that the prosecution failed to prove Antonino’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Government prosecutors have accused Antonio, among other government officials of implementing agencies and non-government entities, of procuring over P14 million worth of 7,275 livelihood technology kits for Antonino’s constituents which turned out to be a ghost project.

The payment for such kits was made in two tranches: the first P13 million on March 19, 2007, and another P1.455 million on April 24, 2007.

As a result of his acquittal, the hold departure order on Antonino, who was present during the promulgation, has been lifted.

The anti-graft court has also ordered the release of his cash bond, subject to accounting procedures.

Antonino’s co-accused  Encarnita Cristina Munsod who served as the human resource supervisor of the state-run National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) was found guilty on the two counts of graft and two counts of malversation of public funds charges.

Munsod was sentenced to spend 10 to 17 years in jail for her malversation conviction under SB-17-CRM-1595, on top of perpetual disqualification from holding public office and a fine of P13.095 million which is the amount misused

In addition, Munsod was meted a jail time of six to 10 years for her malversation conviction under SB-17-CRM-1596, on top of perpetual special disqualification from holding public office, and a fine of P1.455 million which is the amount of the misused public funds.

Further, Munsod was sentenced to a prison time of six to seven years for each of her convictions on two counts of graft, on top of perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

The Sandiganbayan has also ordered Munsod to pay P40.55 million, the total amount of public funds misused, to the Bureau of Treasury as part of her civil liability.

Munsod’s counsel, Atty. Raymundo Rivero, said that they will appeal her case to the Supreme Court. —NB, GMA Integrated News

This article Ex-Nueva Ecija solon Antonino acquitted in P14.5-million PDAF misuse was originally published in GMA News Online.

2023-06-01T10:02:18Z dg43tfdfdgfd