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No bail for convicted former trade exec pending SC petition

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by Allan Yves Briones

Former Department of Trade and Industry director Pedro Vicente Mendoza will not be granted temporary liberty pending the resolution of his Supreme Court petition assailing his previous conviction.

According to the Sandiganbayan 4th Division, Mendoza’s petition is without merit.

“Here, not only is the judgment of conviction against accused Mendoza final and executory, but he also commenced the service of his sentence. Hence, his petition for bail is not allowed and cannot be granted,” the anti-graft court stated in a resolution.

The court cited Section 24, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure which clearly prohibits the granting of bail under the aforementioned conditions.

Last May, Mendoza and counsel were noted to have appeared during the promulgation of the court’s ruling, yet only filed their motion for reconsideration a month later – also denied for being filed out of time.

“In effect, the belated filing of accused Mendoza’s motion for reconsideration rendered the Court’s judgment of conviction final and executory,” the court said.

In fact, the former director’s bond has also been cancelled, and he was thereafter committed to the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.

Mendoza was convicted of malversation for failing to liquidate P929,375 worth of cash advances from the 39th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting despite demands from the Commission on Audit.

He was sentenced to up to six years in prison, and the payment of the missing sum with legal interest as a fine, in addition to being perpetually disqualified from holding public office.

The resolution was written by Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz, concurred by Division Chairperson Alex Quiroz and Associate Justice Bayani Jacinto.

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