Sandiganbayan convicts court interpreter for bribery
17 November 2017
The Sandiganbayan has found Candelaria Mangulabnan, court interpreter of Branch 2 of the Municipal Trial Court of San Fernando City in Pampanga guilty of Direct Bribery under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code. She was sentenced to imprisonment ranging from four years to nine years and ordered to pay a fine of P60,000.00 with special temporary disqualification from holding public office.
During the trial, it was established that Mangulabnan conspired with Judge Rodrigo Flores in demanding and receiving P20,000.00 from a certain Dario Manalastas, a defendant in an election case pending in their court. Accused admitted that she acted as Flores’ middleman in getting the money in consideration of the rendition of a judgment favorable to Manalastas.
In a Decision penned by Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz, the anti-graft court stated that, “there is no denying that conspiracy existed, as it can be seen from accused Mangulabnan’s overt act of receiving the bribe money and delivering the same to accused Flores, which was done in furtherance of the common design to get money from Manalastas.”
“Since conspiracy is proven, accused Mangulabnan becomes liable for the crime as charged regardless of her participation therein,” it added.
Court records show that co-accused Flores remains at-large.
Violation of Article 210 of the RPC is committed when the accused is a public officer who accepts gift or present, offer or promise, that has given in consideration of his commission of some crime, or any act not constituting a crime, or to refrain from doing something which is his official duty to do; and that the crime or act relates to the exercise of his functions as a public officer. ###