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Courts drops rice theft charges against CPDRC prison guard

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol October 30,2015 - 02:51 AM

FOR lack of evidence,  a trial court in Cebu City has dismissed the qualified theft case filed against a prison guard who was accused of stealing 35 sacks of rice stored at the  Cebu provincial jail in 2011.

Judge Sylva Aguirre-Paderanga of the Regional Trial Court Branch 16 granted the plea of Antonieto Babor to drop the charges filed against him for failure of the prosecution to produce enough evidence.

Marivic Garces, former Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD) officer and the main complainant in the case, were not presented by the prosecution during trial.

She could have testified and affirmed ownership of the 35 sacks of NFA rice that were  intended for disaster and emergency purposes, the judge said.

“Hence, the ownership of the subject sacks of NFA rice by the PSWD has remained an allegation not supported with sufficient proof,” Paderanga said.

“In the absence of proof, there is no moral certainty that the 35 sacks of rice allegedly taken by Babor were owned by the PSWD,” the judge added.

Babor served as assistant supply officer and custodian of the NFA rice stored at the  Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center.

On April 25, 2011, he allegedly ordered 17 inmates to load 35 sacks of rice worth P47,000 in a Canter truck owned by the province.

The withdrawal of the sacks of rice was done without Garces’ authority.

Babor claimed that he would deliver the sacks of rice to the Capitol but the truck was  intercepted at Babor’s house in barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City where three sacks of rice were unloaded.

Babor said the three sacks of rice were given to him by former Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu City, National Food Authority

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