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News Briefs: March 2, 2019

/ 07:06 AM March 02, 2019

Samar lawmaker convicted of 8 counts of graft

The Sandiganbayan fourth division has convicted Samar 2nd District Rep. Milagrosa Tan of eight counts of graft, in connection with her anomalous purchase of emergency supplies during her term as Samar governor in 2001. In the 57-page decision, the court sentenced Tan to six years and one day to up to 15 years imprisonment for each count of violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Tan was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office. Tan, then  governor of Samar, and her coaccused, conspired to defraud the government of some P16.1 million. The money was used to purchase emergency supplies without public bidding. Supplies purchased without public bidding included cement, medicines, electric fans, T-shirts and other assorted goods. The goods were allegedly purchased for use of Typhoon “Kidang” victims. Tan, who is seeking to return to her post as Samar governor, has been allowed to post an additional P240,000-bail bond for her provisional liberty as she appeals her case. —Patricia Denise M. Chiu

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Poll gun ban violators reach 2,000

Since the election period began on Jan. 13, the Philippine National Police has arrested 2,075 people for violating the nationwide election gun ban. They were arrested in 231,865 police operations nationwide. Most of the violators were civilians, numbering 1,962,  followed by 41 security guards, 27 government officials and 22 police officers. Only 10 of the arrested came from identified “threat groups” and two from private armies. The PNP has so far confiscated 1,692 firearms and 13,699 other deadly weapons including bladed weapons. The gun ban will last until June 12, well after the May 13 elections. —Jaymee T. Gamil

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Camarines Sur vice mayor indicted for graft

The Sandiganbayan has indicted Vice Mayor Gemino Imperial of Pamplona, Camarines Sur, in connection with an allegedly anomalous heavy equipment rental deal that he entered during his tenure as Pamplona mayor. Imperial supposedly allowed a certain Rodolfo Pua to rent a backhoe and grader in January 2014. Imperial charged Pua a mere P500 for the use of the equipment, but according to the Ombudsman, a municipal ordinance set the rent of the said equipment at P1,200 per hour.  The Ombudsman charged Imperial with one count each of violation of Sections 3(e) and 3(g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for putting the local government “at a disadvantage” since he gave Pua unwarranted benefits by offering the equipment for rent at a lower cost.  Imperial’s bail was set at P90,000 for each count of graft. —Patricia Denise M. Chiu

Elenita Binay seeks dismissal of graft cases

Former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay has sought permission from the Sandiganbayan to file a demurrer to evidence in connection with her graft case for the purchase of allegedly overpriced furniture during her term as mayor. Should the motion be granted, Binay, through her lawyers can formally file a demurrer, which asks the court to determine whether the prosecution was able to present strong enough evidence for the case to move forward. If the court grants her demurrer, the case will effectively be dismissed.  In her motion, Binay said the prosecution’s evidence was “totally insufficient” to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt. —Patricia Denise M. Chiu

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TAGS: Elenita Binay, Graft, gunban, Philippine News, Samar lawmaker
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