Sandiganbayan suspends Romblon solon over graft case
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan has ordered the preventive suspension for 90 days of Romblon Rep. Eleandro Jesus Madrona in connection with the alleged irregular purchase of fertilizers.
The lawmaker was charged with graft for supposedly procuring P4.8 million worth of fertilizers without public bidding in 2004.
According to the resolution released by the anti-graft court’s Sixth Division last August 5, Madrona was suspended based on Section 13 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which requires preventive suspension for government officials facing charges for “fraud upon government funds”.
The Sandiganbayan also said that the charge against Madrona is valid, citing the Supreme Court’s decision dismissing the accused’s claim that the Sandiganbayan abused its discretion when his motion to quash the information and dismiss the case were denied.
“Any lingering doubt as to the validity of the Information has been removed by the Supreme Court’s Resolution in Madrona V. Sandiganbayan,” the resolution penned by Sixth Division chairman and Associate Justice Sarah Jane Fernandez.
The suspension, the Court said, would be automatically lifted after the 90 day period.
Under the law, salaries and benefits that an official did not receive while suspended will be returned if he or she is acquitted.
In case of a conviction, all salaries and retirement benefits will be forfeited.
A copy of the ruling has been sent to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who has to inform Sandiganbayan of the House of Representatives’ action within 15 days. /gsg
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