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Sandigan convicts former OMB chair Ronnie Ricketts

Former Optical Media Board chairman Ronald Naldo “Ronnie” Ricketts has been convicted by the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division of his graft charge in relation to the anomalous release of confiscated DVDs and VCDs back in 2010.

He was convicted alongside OMB Enforcement and Inspection Division computer operator Glenn Perez. They were sentenced to a minimum of six years and one day imprisonment as minimum to eight years imprisonment maximum with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

On the other hand, EID head Manuel Mangubat and EID investigation agent Joseph Arnaldo were acquitted of their graft charge due to the failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Before the promulgation, Ricketts’ lawyer Pedro Tanchuling moved that the case be reopened and that they be given a one-day trial. After some “soul searching,” Ricketts decided to take the witness stand so that the “Honorable Court may be clarified better,” his lawyer said.

They filed the very urgent motion to reopen the case and hold in abeyance the promulgation only on Thursday, which the prosecution opposed in open court. Prosecutor Rayman Rafael argued that Ricketts was given reasonable time to present his evidence, but he opted not to do so.

The Fourth Division, headed by Chairperson Alex Quiroz, saw no compelling reason to defer the promulgation. He added that Ricketts has indeed been given enough chances to present his evidence, and he only decided to do so when the case had already been submitted for decision. (Czarina Ong-Ki)