MANILA – The Court of Appeals (CA) 10th division has cleared two dismissed police officials of their supposed involvement in the anomalous purchase of second-hand helicopters in the time of the Arroyo presidency.
The court reversed the orders to dismiss Superintendents Roman Loreto and Emilando Villafuerte issued by the Office of the Ombudsman in May and November 2012. Both were, at the time, found guilty of “administrative charges of serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.”
In its decision to overturn the decision, the CA ruled that the Office of the Ombudsman erroneous in their findings that Loreto and Villafuerte violated PNP procurement laws governing the purchase of second-hand helicopters,
“In the present case, no records will show that petitioners took part in the alleged conspiracy,” read the CA decision.
“They were not signatories of any document pertaining to the procurement of the three helicopters. The petitioners were neither part of the team who inspected the procured helicopters nor were they signatories in the disbursement vouchers for the payment of the said helicopters. Hence, there is no direct evidence that will link them to the alleged conspiracy,” the court added.