Monday, January 15, 2007

RP Court Acquits Campo

This is very late but I'm sure it's of some interest to some of our readers. I just didn't see this story pop up in my newsfeed. Or maybe I was out somewhere, perhaps partying or watching the cricket, as the item actually came out around about Christmas or Boxing Day last month. But I do need to thank our friend in RP Ignacio Dee for the tip.

In a decision that would have certainly disappointed his critics, ex-FIDE head Florencio Campomanes was last month acquitted by the Philippine Supreme Court because the government prosecutor used the wrong law and, therefore, failed to prove culpability!

The Supreme Court's decision reads:

The laws cited by the OSP do not sufficiently show that Campomanes is legally required to render accounts to the COA. Neither the “prosecution’s evidence” nor the Audit Report is the “law or regulation” contemplated by the Revised Penal Code. Moreover, it is error for the OSP to submit that Section 102 of Presidential Decree No. 1445 (“PD 1445”) is the law mandating the FIDE or its officers to render an accounting. Section 102 of PD 1445, read together with other Sections in Chapter 5 of PD 1445, clearly refers to “official(s) or employee(s)” who are “accountable officers” of “any government agency,”[14] and not to “non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity, directly or indirectly, from or through the Government x x x.” When it comes to subsidy or equity extended by the government to a “non-governmental entity,” the legal obligation on the part of the non-governmental entity to account for, and the power of the COA to audit, such subsidy or equity arises only if “the law or the granting institution” requires such audit as a condition for the subsidy or equity.

As gleaned from the parties’ stipulation of facts, the PSC and the FIDE entered here into a contract requiring the PSC to provide the FIDE the funds for the latter to organize the Chess Olympiad and Congress in Manila. The PSC delivered the funds to the FIDE, which apparently successfully organized the Chess Olympiad and Congress since the PSC does not claim that the FIDE failed to organize the two events. In short, the FIDE complied with its undertaking under the contract. There is no claim by the PSC or the COA that the FIDE, a foreign non-governmental entity, is obligated under the contract to render an accounting. There is also no showing that the PSC’s charter or any law or regulation requires the FIDE to render an accounting to the PSC or the COA as a condition for the receipt of funds. Clearly, this situation cannot give rise to criminal liability on the part of the FIDE’s officers under Article 222 of the Revised Penal Code which admittedly requires that there must be a “law or regulation” requiring the rendering of accounts by private individuals.

We acquit Campomanes because of the failure of the prosecution to prove all the elements of Article 218, in relation to Article 222, of the Revised Penal Code. Because of this failure, we deem it unnecessary to rule on the other issues raised by both parties.

WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. We SET ASIDE the Decision promulgated on 31 January 2003 and the Resolution promulgated on 6 February 2004 of the Sandiganbayan. We ACQUIT Florencio B. Campomanes of the crime of failure to render accounts as defined in Article 218, in relation to Article 222, of the Revised Penal Code.

The item was reported by Jomar Canlas for the Manila Times last month.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the continued sad commentary of not only Philippine chess but, sadly, the legal system.

The Philippine Supreme court's premise that Campo was not a "public official" and therefore not accountable for the over 12 million pesos of Filipinos' money entrusted to him, is, even to a non-lawyer, an obvious LEGAL INCOMPETENCE and a sad miscarriage of justice for the Filipino people.

This decision proves again that Philippine legal system continue to be a third rate system. Since 2000, they cannot even convict the deposed President Estrada who fleece billions of pesos from the Philippines.

And look at the Supreme court cohorts who made the deposition. It reeks of obvious conflict of interest, with Antonio T. Carpio's decision seconded by another Carpio, his wife??

"WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. We SET ASIDE the Decision promulgated on 31 January 2003 and the Resolution promulgated on 6 February 2004 of the Sandiganbayan. We ACQUIT Florencio B. Campomanes of the crime of failure to render accounts as defined in Article 218, in relation to Article 222, of the Revised Penal Code.

SO ORDERED.

ANTONIO T. CARPIO

Associate Justice

WE CONCUR:

LEONARDO A. QUISUMBING

Associate Justice

Chairperson


CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES

Associate Justice
DANTE O. TINGA

Associate Justice"

Read our lips supreme jokers, the crux of the legal issue is: CAMPO, show us the PEOPLE'S money. Where did the 12 million pesos entrusted to you go?? How the hell can you not account for the whereabouts of the moneys??


THERE SHOULD BE AN INVESTIGATION BY THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT ON THIS EMBARRASSINGLY DUBIOUS DECISION BY THIS PHILIPPINE KANGAROO SUPREME COURT. WHO ARE THEY FOOLING???

442 said...

Campo...the cat with nine lives.

Lets hope his milk goes sour.