Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Four dismissed PNP senior officials ask Sandiganbayan to reduce bail by half

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): Four dismissed PNP senior officials ask Sandiganbayan to reduce bail by half

Dismissed Police Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta and three other former police officials on Tuesday asked Sandiganbayan to return half of the bail bond they have posted in cash for their graft cases in connection with the alleged AK-47 rifle scam.

Petrasanta, together with three other dismissed police officials — Sr. Supt. Eduardo Acierto, Supt. Nelson Bautista and Chief Insp. Ricardo Zapata, Jr., asked the Sixth Division of Sandiganbayan to reduce by half their bail bond.

"Above-named accused, with all due respect, move for the cash bail bond to be reduced to fifty percent of the total amount posted taking into consideration Section 9, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure," the four former police officials’ joint motion read.

Under Section 9 Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the court may fix or reduce the bail bond of the accused based on the following grounds:

Financial capability of the accused to give bail; Nature and circumstances of the offense; Penalty for the offense charged; Charter and reputation of the accused; Age and health of the accused; Weight of evidence against the accused; Probability of the accused appearing at the trial; Whether or not the accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested; and Pendency of other cases where the accused is on bail.

In their motion, Petransanta, Acierto, Bautista and Zapata said following their dismissal from service in relation to the case, they no longer have sources of income to pay for the interest of the loans that they used to post their bail.

"They were dismissed from police service in relation to the administrative aspect of the case, thus all the accused at present are having difficulty making both ends meet, in particular complying with the monthly interest for their loan used in their cash bond," their motion read.

"All the accused are not flight risk and commit to appear in all stages of the trial," they added.

Petrasanta, who headed the Philippine National Police (PNP) Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) before his dismissal, had posted Php750,000 bail bond in exchange for his provisional liberty for 25 counts of graft.

Meanwhile, his co-accused Acierto posted Php330,000 bail bond for 11 counts of graft, Bautista Php120,000 for four counts of graft, and Zapata Php30,000 for one count of graft.

The graft cases against Petrasanta and 14 others former high-ranking police officials stemmed from the alleged anomalous issuance of licenses for over a hundred units of high-powered AK-47 rifles in favor of four private companies despite incomplete or falsified applications and supporting documents.

Most of the firearms were later recovered from the members of New People’s Army (NPA) in an encounter with the military in Mindanao in 2014. The Office of the Ombudsman earlier ordered all the respondents’ dismissal from service in connection with the case.

Petrasanta, Acierto, Bautista and Zapata are also facing another set of graft cases before the Sixth Division as co-accused of dismissed PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima in connection with the alleged anomalous courier service deal that the PNP entered into in 2011.

Purisima and all his co-accused have already posted bail in exchange for their provisional liberty.


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