The Sandiganbayan found comedian Roderick Paulate guilty on all ten counts of the charges against him.
This includes one count of graft and nine counts of falsification of public documents.
This is for his role in the hiring of ghost employees in 2010 while he served as a Quezon City councilor.
In 2010, Paulate was elected to represent District 2 of Quezon City, but he was forced out of office after allegations surfaced that he had hired “ghost employees” between July and November.
The Office of the Ombudsman lawfully filed the case against Paulate in 2018, alleging that the actor-politician forged the signatures of fictitious contractors on a Job Order/Contract of Service in order to persuade the city government into allocating funds for their salaries.
Paulate was sentenced to ten to sixty-two years in prison for a variety of crimes, including graft (six to eight years) and eight counts of falsifying public documents, as well as one count of falsifying a public officer’s official record (six months to six years for each count).
The anti-graft court stated, “Given the above findings and in addition to the other pieces of evidence presented, the prosecution has well established that the entries in the Personal Data Sheet (PDS) of the job contractors were indeed falsified.” It added, “The defense did not give any logical explanation for the glaring inaccuracies of the entries in the PDS or adduce any evidence to show the truth thereof.”
Most netizens believe Paulate deserves to rot in jail for his crimes and the fact that he supported the “Unithieves” during the election season.
— Hanash Daily 🍵#NeverForget (@BIENsays) December 2, 2022
Same feathers flock together talaga. Pweh. pic.twitter.com/xUepLEVUyO
— Bryan Teves (@iambteves) December 2, 2022
To destroy your name is the worst gift you can leave behind your children ! Shame on you !
— Jojo Castaneda (@jojo_castaneda) December 2, 2022
This will be the result if you keeping voting those who don't know what they're doing in the public office. https://t.co/R1e2rjLSd2
— Kevin Quilantang (@KevinSquila) December 3, 2022
this is why you shouldn't vote comedians into position https://t.co/iTNNoRpjcs
— yemi | HAPPY SOOBIN DAY!!!♡♡♡ (@yiremichoi) December 3, 2022
Netizens wonder why Paulate was the only one caught. Many want to see bigger politicians exposed.
Nakakalungkot na balita. This will serve as a warning to all elected officials who abuse themselves to power. But why o why siya Lang. No big fish? Just asking. https://t.co/YIomEiJvEy
— Erik Mata (@ErikMat18915854) December 3, 2022
Dissenters also want the president to be subjected to what Paulate is being put through as they believe he is the mastermind.
ok ung presidente next https://t.co/GLD3DaY7K1
— Destiny (@Destinyainttiny) December 2, 2022
In addition to prison time, Paulate was fined P10,000 for each count of falsification, for a grand total of P90,000. He is also permanently barred from holding public office.
Vicente Bajamunde, Paulate’s driver and liaison officer, was found guilty alongside Paulate but was cleared of forgery charges.
Paulate and Bajamunde were fined and ordered to repay the government P1.109 million (plus interest at 6% per year) for the money they stole from the City Treasurer’s Office while pretending to pay the salaries of their new employees.