MANILA – The Sandiganbayan has cleared a private individual who had been among those convicted in a graft case against Navy officials found responsible for the anomalous procurement in 1990 of medical and dental supplies.
In the 3-page resolution dated Nov. 3 and written by Associate Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, it granted the motion for reconsideration filed by private individual Ermina L. Castillos.
Castillos had pointed out that she had been cleared in the case and that the amended information no longer included her as an accused and therefore "she should not have been convicted in the said cases as she was neither arraigned nor tried in the said cases,”
Associate Justices Bernelito R. Fernandez and Ronald B. Moreno concurred in deleting her name from the Sept. 16, 2022 decision where the Sandiganbayan has convicted retired Philippine Navy Rear Admiral Gilmer B. Batestil, and private individual Edna R. Gianan, owner of ERG Marketing, of several counts of graft and malversation.
Castillo was found guilty of one count of graft.
Those accused were sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and were ordered to pay a fine of PHP17,093,717 and PHP7,699,221, respectively, after the court noted that no product was delivered and that the firm had no license as a drug retailer or distributor, and could not even be located at its given address. (PNA)