Bansalan mayor serves suspension for graft charge
BANSALAN, Davao del Sur – Mayor Edwin Reyes stepped down from his post on Wednesday to serve the 90-day suspension order issued against him by the Sandiganbayan for a graft charge.
Reyes personally signed the suspension order, which was served by Department of the Interior and Local Government director for Southern Mindanao Ananias Villacorta.
In a separate order, Villacorta also installed Vice Mayor Arnel Gallardo to assume Reyes’ post until the mayor had fully served the suspension.
On June 29, the Sandiganbayan ordered Reyes’ suspension based on a graft case filed by Paul Arches, the former manager of Bansalan Water District.
Arches accused Reyes of violating the town ordinance that regulates the sale of pyrotechnics when he issued permits to firecracker vendors to sell in the public market in 2009. Under the ordinance, passed in 2005, the display of firecrackers and pyrotechnics were banned, particularly in the public market.
A few days after Reyes allowed pyrotechnic vendors to sell their wares at the public market, a fire took place and gutted most of the structures there.
Arches said Reyes should be blamed for the fire, which took place on December 29, 2009. The fire, he said, was traced to firecrackers.
For this, he argued that Reyes should be penalized for violating the anti-graft law.
Reyes initially dismissed the charges as politically-motivated. He said Arches was the brother of his political nemesis, the late mayor Peter Arches. Orlando Dinoy, Inquirer Mindanao/CDG
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