Ex-Davao Sur governor, 4 to appeal graft conviction over purchase of vehicles
MALITA, Davao Occidental – Mayor Benjamin Bautista Jr. said he and four former officials of Davao del Sur would appeal the Sandiganbayan’s decision finding them guilty of graft while he was still Davao del Sur governor in 2003.
The case involved the alleged anomalous purchase of five vehicles.
“The Sandiganbayan may have given its decision, but it is not yet executory since legal remedies are still available for us,” Bautista told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“We are formulating our motion for reconsideration before the Sandiganbayan. Our case is bailable as a matter of right, hence I still enjoy freedom until final judgment shall have been given by the Supreme Court,” he added as he denied allegations that he pocketed money from the purchase of the vehicles.
The Sandiganbayan’s First Division sentenced Bautista and five other former employees to 24 years and four months in jail. They were also perpetually barred from holding any public office.
Bautista is running for the town’s vice mayoralty post.
Also convicted were provincial accountant Richard Martel, general services officer Allan Putong, treasurer Abel Guiñares, budget officer Victoria Mier, and Edgar Gan of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Gan, who is now the mayor of Kiblawan town in Davao del Sur, said he would also file a motion before the Court of Appeals.
The case stemmed from the purchase of five vehicles without the required public bidding. SFM
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