Former action star convicted of graft; barred from holding gov’t positions forever

Ronnie Ricketts. Photo: ABS-CBN News

Former action star and producer Ronnie Ricketts played one of the most famous Filipinos cops in the movies but in real life, he just might end up in jail.

Ricketts, the former chairman of the Optical Media Board (OMB) was convicted today by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan of graft and was sentenced to at least six years and one day to a maximum of eight years in prison.

At the same time, he was barred from holding a government position for life, reported The Philippine Daily Inquirer.

However, Ricketts’ case is bailable, reported CNN Philippines, and he was given until Monday to post the bond of PHP30,000 (US$568.91) while he’s appealing the court’s decision.

OMB is responsible for regulating the production, sale, and distribution of CDs and DVDs. It’s also responsible for running after those who create and sell pirated music and movies.

Ricketts first started his career as a model and was then groomed to become an action star in the 1980s and early 1990s. He once played the role of a real-life police general, the late Romeo Maganto, a cop famous for his crime-busting ways.

Rickett’s case stems from the OMB’s confiscation of items from the company Sky High Marketing Corporation in May 2010. According to the Philippine Star, members of the OMB raided the company’s office and took two boxes of CDs, DVDs, and a videocam, all of which were brought to their office. At the same time, the OMB’s team arrested three Chinese nationals.

However, the items were taken from the OMB’s office in the evening, and Ricketts and three other OMB employees allegedly allowed these items to be taken away. According to then-Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Ricketts should have also filed a case against Sky High, but he failed to do so.

Aside from Ricketts, also convicted was the OMB’s former Enforcement and Inspection Division’s (EID) computer operator Glenn Perez. Their co-accused Manuel Mangubat, the EID’s head, and investigator Joseph Arnaldo were acquitted because the pieces of evidence against them were found to be insufficient.

Ricketts was appointed to the OMB by former Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2009 to replace Edu Manzano, another actor.

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