The Sandiganbayan on Tuesday sentenced Sarangani Provincial Prosecutor Alfredo Barcelona, Jr. and his assistant, Violeto Novio, to a prison term of two to five years, five months and a P15,000 fine for accepting a P5,000 bribe.
A statement from the Office of the Ombudsman reads, “The Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division sentenced Barcelona and Novio to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of two years, 11 months and 10 days of prision correccional medium to five years, five months and 11 days of prision correccional maximum; with a fine of P15,000 each.”
Barcelona and Novio were found guilty of direct bribery under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code. The anti-graft court said that Barcelona and Novio connived to receive P5,000 from Glan, Saranggani Police Chief Ludivico Ripdos, who was then facing a criminal case.
The 23-page decision was penned by Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo and concurred with by Associate Justices Roland Jurado and Napoleon Inoturan.
The Ombudsman was the petitioner in the case.
“The anti-graft court also imposed upon Barcelona the additional penalty of special temporary disqualification,” the statement read.
It also explained the circumstances of the case as it recounted how Novio was arrested in an NBI entrapment operation where he was caught “red-handed” with marked money.
The prosecutor’s assistant Novio said in a sworn statement that he was ordered by Barcelona to receive the money.
In his defense, Sarangani Prosecutor Barcelona said that he merely instructed Novio to get the records of a pending case from Ripdos.
In the end, the Court found “no credible reason why Novio (a personal friend of Barcelona), a person without authority and who was not even employed in the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, was ordered by Barcelona to get [the] records from Ripdos’ office.”
GMA News Online tried to contact the Barcelona through the Sarangani Persecutor’s Office but he was not immediately available for comment. — DVM, GMA News