Surigao Sur town mayor facing graft charges suspended

MANILA The Sandiganbayan has ordered the 90-day suspension pendente lite (during litigation) of Tagbina, Surigao del Sur Mayor Generoso Naraiso for allegedly illegally withholding the release and payment of representation and transportation allowance (RATA) of a municipal accountant for four months in 2015.

In a resolution, the anti-graft court cited the ministerial duty under Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019, which states that a court trying a case has neither discretion nor duty to determine whether or not a preventive suspension is required to prevent the accused from using his office to intimidate witnesses or frustrate his prosecution or continue committing malfeasance in office.

The presumption is that unless the accused is suspended, he may frustrate his prosecution or commit further acts of malfeasance or do both, it reads.

Naraiso is facing trial for violation of Section 3(e) of RA. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for his unlawful withholding of the release and payment of the RATA of municipal accountant Marcial San Pablo Jr. from March 2015 to July 2015 despite directive from the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

Naraiso allegedly took advantage of his official position as mayor and acted with evident bad faith, manifest partiality and gross inexcusable negligence when he caused undue injury to San Pablo when the local chief executive refused to pay San Pablo's RATA.

In its May 29, 2015 decision, CSC-Caraga directed the municipality of Tagbina to release and pay San Pablo's RATA from March to July 2015.

As a result, Naraiso caused damage and prejudice to San Pablo in the amount of PHP27,000.

The Office of the Ombudsman earlier issued a warrant of arrest against Naraiso for his non-compliance with the CSC order but the latter posted a PHP30,000 bail bond for his temporary liberty. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency