Ex-Leyte town mayor rapped with graft

MANILA-- Former Babatngon, Leyte Mayor Charita Chan is again facing indictment before the Sandiganbayan for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for issuing a business permit to a cockpit without authority from the Sangguniang Bayan (SB).

Investigation conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman found that in 2008 and 2009, the SB issued two resolutions recommending that the franchise to operate granted to Nicomedes Alde be revoked due to non-compliance with legal requirements.

The SB noted that Alde failed to submit the required building permit, location and vicinity map of the cockpit, cockpit building plan and certification that the same is not located within the 200 lineal meter radius from existing residential and commercial areas.

Despite the recommendations, Chan approved Alde's business permits for 2008 and 2009.

In its resolution, the Ombudsman said that respondent completely disregarded and ignored the concurrent authority of the SB to issue license and regulate cockfighting within the Municipality under Section 4 of P.D. 1802 and Section 6(h) of Ordinance No. 191 of Babatngon, Leyte by issuing on Aug.28, 2009 Mayor's Business permit No. 03-30-2009 to the cockpit operated by Alde. Chan acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence in the performance of her duties and responsibilities, it added. Section 3(e) of RA No. 3019 prohibits officers and employees from causing undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.

Earlier in May, the Ombudsman filed graft charges against Chan for allowing illegal quarrying operations in the Salug Dongon River.

Source: Philippines News Agency