Sandiganbayan division convicts ex-gov of graft
CITY OF CALAPAN—A division of the antigraft court Sandiganbayan has convicted a former governor of Oriental Mindoro of graft over the purchase of dump trucks in 1993 that, it said, were overpriced.
In a 27-page decision, the Sandiganbayan’s First Division said the provincial government, under then Gov. Rodolfo Valencia, bought 10 units of reconditioned dump trucks worth P6.99 million but the purchase did not go through public bidding.
The trucks were bought directly by the provincial government from Edelbert Uyboco, president of Gaikoku Trading Co., according to the decision, which was promulgated on Jan. 9 but released to media on Monday.
It said the dump trucks, aside from having been purchased with public funds without public bidding, were overpriced by at least P2.4 million.
The court division found a “conspiracy” between Valencia and Uyboco and ordered them to return to the provincial government the P2.4 million paid in excess of the actual cost of the trucks.
Carlo Maramot, who was then officer in charge of the Provincial Government Services Office, had been charged along with Valencia and Uyboco but was acquitted.
Valencia was governor of Oriental Mindoro from 1992 to 2001 before becoming representative of the first district from 1987 to 1992 and later from 2004 until 2013. His son, Nico, lost in the 2013 congressional elections to Calapan City Mayor Paulino Salvador Leachon.
In a statement e-mailed on Tuesday, Valencia said the decision of the Sandiganbayan was “not yet final and executory.”
He said that on Jan. 20, he filed with the court a “motion for reconsideration with preliminary motion to reopen the proceedings for the reception of further evidence.”
“This renders highly malicious and very irresponsible news reports creating media hype on said decision,” Valencia said.
The reports, he said, were “aimed at putting the former 25-year public servant of the province in a bad light, which only his political detractors have the audacity to do.”
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