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For asking and receiving a P3,000 in exchange for an acquital in an estafa case he was handling, former Cavite assistant provincial prosecutor Carlos Catubao has been found guilty of direct bribery and has been sentence to up to eight years imprisonment.
“There is likewise no question that the accused received a gift or present by himself,” read the 15-page decision of the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division.
Apart from the jail sentence, the tribunal also meted Catubao with a P9,000 fine and special temporary disqualification from holding public office.
Complainant, Atty. Fernando Perito recounted before the court that Catubao kept asking him for drinks or “pang-inom” whenever he visits the accused’s office to follow-up the status of the estafa case against his client, Cornelio Ragasa, which was filed in 2007.
The accused went to his home town in Guiuan, Samar, when called up Perito on December 19, 2008 to ask for P5,000 to treat his friends in a drinking sessession.
After Perito informed his client about the amount, Ragasa sent P4,000 through LBC.
Catubao argued that he took the amount since Perito owed him P1,000 after the lawyer lost his wallet.
However, the court said that such defense “does not convince this Court to free him from liability.”
“Accused Catubao’s demand for money was then affirmed when the accused, after about a month from his personal receipt of the Php 3,000 from LBC in Guiuan, finally and instantly resolved the estafa cases of Ragasa,” the tribunal said.
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