Mayor’s graft conviction final, says SCBy Maricar Cinco |Inquirer Southern Luzon
SAN PEDRO, Laguna—The Supreme Court denied with finality the motion for reconsideration filed by this town’s mayor, Calixto Cataquiz, over the high court’s earlier decision finding him guilty of graft.
In a one-page notice dated Dec. 5, 2012, the Supreme Court’s Third Division said the issues raised by Cataquiz have been considered and “no substantial argument had been adduced to warrant its (the decision’s) reconsideration.”
This meant, as explained by Cataquiz himself in a phone interview on Thursday, that the high court upheld its decision on Sept. 14, 2011, which imposed on Cataquiz, a former general manager of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), the penalties of “disqualification from reemployment in the government service and forfeiture of retirement benefits.”
The conviction stemmed from complaints filed by the Concerned Employees of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (Cellda), which also petitioned for Cataquiz’s ouster from the lake agency.
Cellda said Cataquiz disbursed P500,000 in LLDA funds, appropriated funds as gifts for residents of his town, solicited funds to promote a film entry to the 2002 Metro Manila Film Festival and illegally entered into transactions with fish pen operators, when he was the general manager from 2001 to 2003.
“I am already 65 (years old, the mandatory retirement age in the government service) anyway. I’ve already proven myself to San Pedro,” Cataquiz said. He said he has not yet received an official copy of the decision.
A source had furnished the Philippine Daily Inquirer a copy of the Supreme Court decision.