Court convicts former Dean of UP Diliman
07 September 2017
The Office of the Ombudsman has secured the conviction of former Dean Hercules Callanta of the University of the Philippines College of Human Kinetics (CHK) for violation of Section 7(a) of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act No. 6713). Callanta was tried before Branch 36 of the Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) of Quezon City for approving the payment to “The Lord’s Inheritance Catering,” a business owned by him and his wife.
Records showed that on May 26, 2007, Callanta engaged the services of his catering business to provide meals during the CHK’s summer recreation program. To prove his culpability, Ombudsman prosecutors presented the disbursement voucher amounting to P6,300.00 bearing Callanta’s signature.
The Decision stated that, “the accused, as Dean and approving authority for payment, knowingly signed the disbursement voucher for the catering services of The Lord’s Inheritance Catering Service during the May 26, 2007 Summer Recreation Program in the amount of P6,300.00 organized and sponsored by the CHK.”
“Without such signature, the disbursement voucher could not be processed for payment by the UP Diliman Accounting Office, and the May 26, 2007 transaction would not have been paid,” the lower court added.
The court gave no credence to Callanta’s defense of good faith and stated that “although he exerted efforts to ensure that all required documents and certifications were in order before signing, he cannot escape the fact that this transaction is prohibited under Section 7(a) of R.A. 6713 because of (1) his position as Dean (agency head) in a public university; (2) his and his wife’s ownership and business interest in The Lord’s Inheritance Catering Service; and (3) that the May 26, 2007 transaction, in order to proceed and be consummated, required the approval of his office.”
Callanta was ordered to pay a fine of P5,000.00.
Section 7(a) of R.A. No. 6713 states that public officials and employees shall not, directly or indirectly, have any financial or material interest in any transaction requiring the approval of their office. ###