Court clears ex-PRA exec of falsification raps

By Perfecto Raymundo, Jr.

February 13, 2019, 2:23 pm

MANILA -- The Sandiganbayan has cleared a former executive of the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) of falsification cases over her alleged bogus certifications on the use of government vehicle and her claims of PHP55,000 transportation allowances in 2010 and 2011.

In a decision dated last February 8, the anti-graft court's 6th Division acquitted Thelma Rupa, former PRA department manager, of 10 counts of falsification of public documents for failure of the prosecution to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Although the prosecution proved Rupa actually used the Toyota Revo assigned to her department for her transportation, the court said it cannot be a basis for her conviction because the certifications pertain to the claim for reimbursement of transportation expenses actually incurred, and not to the claim for the monthly commutable representation and transportation allowance (RATA).

“Nonetheless, the accused cannot be convicted because the fact narrated in the subject certifications, i.e., that no government vehicle was issued to the accused, was not proven to be absolutely false,” the Sandiganbayan said.

The Office of the Ombudsman earlier charged Rupa with falsification of public documents for allegedly falsely stating in her certifications that no government vehicle was issued to her and that trips from her home to office and vice versa were not included in her claim for RATA of PHP5,500 for 10 months from Nov. 22, 2010 to Jan. 21, 2011 and from March 22, 2011 to September 23, 2011.

Rupa pleaded “not guilty” when arraigned. (PNA)