PHILSTAR

THE SUPREME Court (SC) has dismissed the petition of former Optical Media Board (OMB) chairperson Ronald N. Ricketts to dismiss the graft charges against him for failing to file charges against sellers of pirated DVD and VCD goods during a raid in 2010.  

In a resolution dated Nov. 18 last year and made public on Apr. 19, the High Court affirmed the resolutions of the Sandiganbayan in 2012 and 2017 denying his motion for a demurrer to evidence for lack of merit.  

A demurrer of evidence asserts that the evidence presented by the opposing party is insufficient.  

Mr. Ricketts argued that the anti-graft court committed grave abuse of discretion in denying his motion as there is insufficient evidence to sustain his indictment. 

In 2010, a team of OMB agents seized 127 boxes and two sacks of pirated DVDs and VCDs along Quiapo, Manila. Three Chinese nationals were arrested and the confiscated materials were brought to the OMB office.   

The former OMB chief allegedly told his personnel to load 121 of the 127 boxes of pirated products to a truck marked “Sky High Marketing,” and no charges were filed by the agency against any person after.  

The Office of the Ombudsman filed a complaint before the Sandiganbayan against Mr. Ricketts and his co-accused for supposedly giving “unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference” to Sky High Marketing Corporation. It added that Mr. Ricketts caused damage and prejudice to the government by not filing the appropriate charges against the offenders. 

“The orderly procedure prescribed by the Revised Rules of Court is for the accused to present his evidence, after which the trial court, on its own assessment of the evidence submitted, will then properly render its judgment of acquittal or conviction,” the High Court said in its ruling. — John Victor D. Ordoñez