THE Sandiganbayan found veteran actor-politician Roderick Paulate guilty of one count of graft and nine counts of falsification of public documents in connection with the hiring of ghost employees in 2010 during his stint as councilor in Quezon City.
He won as councilor in the 2010 election, but he was removed from office after he was charged with hiring ghost employees from July to November of the same year.
In a November 25 decision, the Sandiganbayan said Paulate allowed the hiring of about 30 job contract employees sans birth certificates, given address or schools records, not even National Bureau of Investigation clearances.
In 2018, the Office of the Ombudsman filed a case stating that Paulate forged a job or service contract bearing signatures of fake contractors to extract pay from the local government.
Paulate was sentenced to serve between 10 and a half years to 62 years of imprisonment. Broken down, the sentence for the graft case was six to eight years while the sentence for each falsification offense (eight for public documents, one by public officer) is six months to six years, amounting to 62 years.
Aside from jail time, Paulate was also ordered to pay a P10,000 fine for each count of falsification, for a total of P90,000. He is also perpetually disqualified from seeking public office.
Before joining public service, Paulate had a stellar career in showbiz. He started as a child actor and eventually became a comedian and television host. He has since been regarded as one of the best actors in Philippine cinema.
Among his recent public appearances was his guesting in fellow actor and good friend Maricel Soriano’s vlog, titled “Palengke tour with Roderick Paulate,” last September.