Manila: Casimiro Padilla Junior, a former Philippine governor of the province of the Camarines Norte, in the north of the Bicol Reion, was convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment by the Sandigang Bayan, a special court tasked in monitoring and handling cases of erring politicians, derelict to their duties.
A criminal court suit was filed against the former governor Padilla before the Sandigang Bayan, by the office of the Ombudsman, the country’s chief graft-buster, for his failure to return a .45 caliber pistol issued to him by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The PNP issued the gun to Padilla when he was elected governor of Camarines norte, for security reason as customary practice for elected officials, but he failed to return the same when he stepped down from office in 1998, as reflected in the charge sheet on the case filed by the Ombudsman.
During the trial, Padilla claimed that he returned the gun worth approximately $140 to the PNP after he stepped down from office.
Ironically, after a thorough investigation and ballistic tests, it was established by the PNP that the gun he returned was not the same weapon issued to him, but rather, a “paltik”, a pistol of the same make but illegally manufactured by an unlicensed local gunsmith.
Beside the four years imprisonment, Padilla was ordered to pay a fine of $5 and another $5 in damages to the PNP, but more than the fine and jail term, perpetual disqualification from holding public office was imposed on him by the Sandigang Bayan.