Sandiganbayan orders arrest, jailing of ex-PNP Academy director

MANILA, Philippines – Dismissing claims of frail health and a supposed intent to voluntarily surrender to the provincial governor of Sultan Kudarat, the anti-graft court has ordered the immediate arrest and imprisonment of retired Chief Superintendent Dionisio B. Coloma Jr.

Coloma, former director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Academy, had filed a motion asking the Sandiganbayan not to issue a warrant for his arrest after the High Tribunal affirmed his conviction, following a graft charge in 2012.

Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justices Samuel R. Martires and Sarah Jane T. Fernandez of the Third Division issued a resolution upholding the prosecution. They said a warrant of arrest was a logical consequence of the Supreme Court ruling in 2014 which sustained a guilty verdict against Coloma.

He was accused of graft in connection with an anomalous P5.73-million contract in Tawi-Tawi. He allowed payment in full to a contractor in 2001 for a Philippine Public Safety College  building that was unfinished and was supposed to be used as barracks.

Investigators found that the completed work was worth only P3.18 million – far from the P5.73 million that was paid out.

Upon conviction, the Sandiganbayan sentenced Coloma to 6 years imprisonment with lifetime disqualification from holding public office.

The Sandiganbayan also denied Coloma’s request to be allowed to serve his jail sentence at the Davao Penal Colony. It said a convict cannot choose where to serve his sentence.

The Tacurong PNP was instead directed to turn over Coloma to the San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur.

The Sandiganbayan sentenced Coloma to 6 years imprisonment with lifetime disqualification from holding public office, following his conviction.

Coloma elevated his case to the Supreme Court which sustained the Sandiganbayan decision in a ruling issued on September 24, 2014. – Rappler.com