Sandiganbayan clears Camarines Norte governor of graft
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan Third Division has acquitted Camarines Norte Gov. Edgardo Tallado of graft charges, but sentenced provincial legal officer Sim Mata Jr. to six to 10 years in prison due to their refusal to heed a 2012 Civil Service Commission order to reinstate provincial veterinarian Edgardo Gonzales.
In a Sept. 25 ruling, the court cleared Tallado as the prosecution’s evidence failed to “unequivocally show that his reliance on his subordinates was coupled with an ulterior, fraudulent and dishonest purpose” but found Mata guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
The court ruled that Mata acted in “evident bad faith and criminal design” when he pushed for the removal of Gonzales without supporting documents and adhering to procedures.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.