Sandiganbayan suspends four DENR execs for graft

MANILA-- The Sandiganbayan has ordered a 90-day suspension pendente lite on Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Director Joel Salvador, Finance Officer Rolando Reyes, Accountant Asterio Tolentino, Jr. and Budget Officer Perlita Mauri.

Salvador, et al. are facing trial for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act", and illegal use of public funds under Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).

In the charge sheet, Salvador, et al. illegally used funds allotted for the ecological solid waste management by causing the diversion of Php 758,998.07 for the rehabilitation and improvement of the Environmental Education and Information Center and the Regional Director's Office in Baguio City.

Likewise, the construction materials were purchased without any public bidding and the accused were found to have authorized the payment for the materials despite the non-delivery of goods.

"Considering that the validity of the Information in these cases had already been established with the arraignment of the accused, their preventive suspension is warranted under the premises," the Sandiganbayan resolution said.

The Sandiganbayan directed the DENR Secretary to implement the suspension order.

Source: Philippines News Agency