Ex-Biliran town mayor faces 6-8 yrs jail term for graft

MANILA-- Former Caibiran, Biliran Mayor Melchor Maderazo is facing six to eight years imprisonment.

This after the Sandiganbayan convicted Maderazo of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act".

The former mayor was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office and was ordered to pay PHP305,481.06 as civil liability to the government.

The Sandiganbayan also convicted his co-accused Caibiran municipal accountant Orlando Salentes Jr. and municipal budget officer Dionesio Veruen Jr.

Prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) established that Maderazo, et. al. illegally facilitated the release of his salaries and other benefits despite being placed under a series of suspension orders from the Sandiganbayan and by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP).

Court records showed that after serving his suspension, Maderazo ordered Salentes and Veruen to process the payment of his back salaries for the period September 2002 to September 2003 totaling PHP305,481.06.

In a 33-page decision, the Sandiganbayan ruled that Maderazo failed to justify the receipt of back wages.

The anti-graft court said that "under Section 64 of the Local Government Code and Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019, unequivocally provide that an official under preventive suspension is not entitled to salaries and benefits while under preventive suspension."

"It is only upon exoneration that the official may be entitled to such back salaries and benefits," the Sandiganbayan added.

Source: Philippines News Agency