Ex-mayor of Iloilo town brought to Bilibid prison | Inquirer News
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Ex-mayor of Iloilo town brought to Bilibid prison

/ 01:24 PM January 13, 2021

ILOILO CITY –– A former Iloilo town mayor, who has been on hospital arrest for a year and a half, was finally brought to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) on Monday to serve minimum imprisonment of six years and one day for graft.

Former mayor Frankie Locsin of Januiay town arrived at the NBP with his police escort and a medical team in the afternoon, according to Lt. Col. Joem Malong, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police in Western Visayas.

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This was after efforts of his family to appeal for his continued hospital arrest in Iloilo City failed, Malong said.

The spokesperson said the PNP regional office received an order from the Ombudsman to commit Locsin to the NBP on Nov. 4, 2019 but the order was implemented only more than a year later due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Locsin won in the 2019 mayoral race in Janiuay, but was barred from assuming the post after the Supreme Court affirmed with finality a graft case that he was convicted of.

He was arrested on June 3, 2019 at the regional office of the National Bureau of Investigation, while he was securing clearance for a gun license application.

He was brought to the hospital shortly after his arrest since his blood pressure shot up because of a heart ailment.

During his hospital arrest, NBI agents, and later policemen, guarded his room.

The Sandiganbayan convicted Locsin and four other former municipal officials on Feb. 23, 2015 after they were found guilty of graft for the purchase of P15 million worth of medicines from two companies that were owned by one person.

The offense carries a penalty of imprisonment from a minimum of six years and one day to a maximum of 10 years and perpetual disqualification from public office.

The Sandiganbayan said the government officials conspired to give undue advantage to the owner of the two companies in the granting of the contract.

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Locsin’s motion for reconsideration before the Sandiganbayan, and a subsequent petition for review before the Supreme Court were denied.

On March 20, 2019, the Special First Division of the high court denied with finality Locsin’s motion for reconsideration. It also ordered the issuance of an entry of judgment in the case.

Locsin has repeatedly denied committing any wrongdoing in the transaction.

“Anybody who knows me well will vouch that I’m not a person who will commit graft. My family is well-respected, and I will not ruin our reputation,” he said in an earlier interview.

Malong said Locsin was brought to the NBP after physicians approved his transfer to the facility.

Bienvenido Margarico, who was elected vice mayor, assumed the post of Locsin.

But former Janiuay vice mayor Joseph Lutero, who came in second to Locsin in the 2019 elections, has petitioned the Commission on Elections to disqualify Locsin as a candidate due to his conviction by the final judgment, and the penalty of perpetual disqualification from public office.

In his petition, which is pending with the poll body, Lutero is also seeking the cancellation of all votes cast for Locsin, and to proclaim the candidate with the second-highest number of votes as the winner.

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TAGS: Graft, Hospital Arrest, Iloilo town mayor, imprisonment, NBP, New Bilibid Prison, Regions
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