Almost a year after he was found guilty of graft and falsification of documents for hiring ghost employees, former Quezon City councilor Roderick Paulate claimed that the media’s coverage of his case was “unfair.”
In December 2022, the Sandiganbayan charged Paulate and his former liaison officer Vicente Esquilon Bajamunde with graft and nine counts of falsification of public documents in connection with hiring “ghost” employees, when the actor served as a councilor in 2010.
Paulate then made headlines in August 2023 after he was seen filming for the movie “In His Mother’s Eyes” with screen veteran Maricel Soriano.
During an interview with showbiz writer Ogie Diaz on his YouTube channel last Saturday, Nov. 4, Paulate, an actor-politician, pointed out that he wasn’t arrested even though he was convicted of graft and falsification by a public officer.
“I’m sure nababasa mo ‘yung mga [comments ng netizens at reports] tungkol sa’yo dahil lalabas ka sa ‘In His Mother’s Eyes.’ Nagco-comment ang mga tao na, ‘akala ko nakakulong ‘yan. Paano [siya] nakakagawa ng pelikula?’” Diaz asked.
(I’m sure you’ve read the comments and reports about you because you’re about to star in “In His Mother’s Eyes.” People are saying, “I thought he’s in jail. How was he able to make a film?)
“Once and for all, hindi ako nakulong (I wasn’t put behind bars),” Paulate said, while admitting there were instances when he simply wanted to respond to the remarks with a shocked emoji but decided against it for his inner peace.
Paulate then accused netizens of being “irresponsible” with their remarks against him, while claiming that reports on the legal procedure behind his case wasn’t “expounded enough” due to “business” reasons.
“Gan’un talaga. Hindi sila nakakaintindi. Hindi ko rin sila maintindihan,” he said. “Okay, totoo ‘yun ‘yung lumabas sa news. Pero hindi naman sinasabi ng news kung ano ‘yung mga legal procedure na mangyayari… I think it’s business.”
(I guess that’s life. They would never understand. I don’t understand them either. Okay, what came out in the news was true. But the news didn’t expound on the legal procedures that happened. I think it’s business.)
While asserting that his case was “dismissed” by the Court of Appeals, Paulate said the media tended to focus on making “controversial titles” which led to “apparent backlash” against him.
“May mga nagsasabi sa’kin na baka sinasadya nila ‘yun. Maglalagay silang clickbait, controversial na title… Pero gan’un na ba ka-desperado para kumita ng pera? Bakit ganoon? Parang may galit sila [sa’kin]. Noong negatibo, ang laki-laki ng balita. Pinagpiyestahan ako,” Paulate said.
(There were people who told me that it might have been done on purpose. They would put clickbait and controversial titles to get attention. But are they really that desperate to earn money? Why is that? It’s like they have something against me. When it comes to negative news, it’s such a big deal. I was swarmed with negative feedback.
“Pero bakit noong in-acquit ako at dinismiss ang kaso ng Court of Appeals, bakit hindi niyo rin pinag-piyestahan at hindi kayo nag-hallelujah?” he continued. “Sinabi ng Court of Appeals na wala siyang kasalanan. Hindi siya pwedeng i-link doon sa nangyaring irregularities kasi walang pruweba.”
(But why is it that when my case was dismissed by the Court of Appeals I didn’t get the attention? Why didn’t I hear “hallelujahs”? The Court of Appeals said that I didn’t do anything wrong. I can’t be linked to those alleged irregularities because there’s no proof.)
Following the Sandiganbayan’s declaration, Paulate and Bajamunde were sentenced to at least six to eight years of imprisonment and perpetual disqualification. They were also ordered to settle at least P1.1 million, although the former liaison officer was cleared of the falsification charges.