THE Sandiganbayan sentenced the former Batangas State University President Dr. Ernesto De Chavez to a prison term ranging from six to ten years after he was found guilty of graft.
Aside from the prison term, De Chavez was also meted the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office. His co-accused, Rolando Lontok Jr. remains at large hence the case against him was archived until he is caught and presented in court by the authorities.
Records showed De Chavez, who was BSU president from 1989 to 2005, was charged before the anti-graft court by the Office of the Ombudsman for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). The charges stemmed from the illegal collection of internet fees by De Chavez and his co-accused from BSU students from the year 2000 up to 2002.
The anti-graft court said government prosecutors established that De Chavez and Lontok, Jr. have unlawfully collected
P550.00 from each BSU student as school internet fee. The court added the prosecutors presented witnesses who testified that the fee collection was not sanctioned by the school board and was not supported with official receipts.
Furthermore, the witnesses also testified that the collected fees were deposited in the personal bank accounts of De Chavez and Lontok.
The court said “the system of collection and disbursement of expenses designed by the accused also gave them unwarranted benefit, allowing them to spend the internet fund [totaling close to
P500,000.00] as they please, since it would no longer be subjected to the usual procedure of procurement and accounting required for public funds.”