Bacolod mayor suspended for 90 days over computer deal for schools
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government on Monday, implemented the 90-day suspension order issued by the Sandiganbayan on Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella in connection with the graft case filed against him for the alleged overpriced purchase of information technology (IT) packages bought using his pork barrel funds when he was a congressman.
Anthony Nuyda, DILG director for Western Visayas, served the suspension order past 3 p.m. at the mayor’s residence on Burgos Street in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
“The mayor was prepared for it and accepted it. There were no problems,” said Nuyda.
“The suspension will be for 90 calendar days until sometime in February,” he added.
While Puentevella is serving his suspension, Bacolod Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya sits as acting mayor and Councilor El Cid Familiaran as vice mayor.
The Sandiganbayan 4th division ordered the 90-day suspension of Puentevella pending the criminal prosecution of the graft case filed against him.
Puentevella is facing charges of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019) for the alleged overpriced purchase of IT packages worth P26 million using his Priority Development Assistance Funds when he was congressman from 2002 to 2007.
These IT packages were for public elementary and secondary schools in Bacolod.
Also charged with Puentevella were the late Victorino Tirol, former Department of Education Western Visayas director; and Merryland Publishing chairman Jessie Garcia, supplier of the IT packages.
The IT package for public elementary schools, worth P400,000 each, was composed of one computer, 50 compact discs, instructional materials and a one-day seminar workshop.
The package for public secondary schools, also worth P400,000, consisted of two computer units, 80 CDs, instructional materials, and a one-day seminar.
Puentevella, who has denied any wrongdoing, has a pending petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court, questioning the validity of the information filed against him. SFM
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