CamSur Rep. Villafuerte suspended for 90 days over graft case
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. was suspended from his Congress duties for 90 days as he faces a graft charge for the supposedly anomalous procurement of P20 million worth of petroleum products for the provincial government in 2010.
In a resolution promulgated Sept. 7, the Sandiganbayan Sixth Division granted the prosecution’s motion to suspend Villafuerte pendente lite for 90 days.
“Wherefore, the prosecution’s motion to suspend the accused Pendente Lite is hereby granted, and accused Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. is hereby directed to cease and desist from further performing and/or exercising the functions, duties and privileges of his position as Congressman of the Second District of Camarines Sur, or any other position he may now or hereafter be holding effective immediately upon receipt hereof and continuing for a period of 90 days,” the court said.
The court ordered Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to implement the suspension order and inform the court in writing of the action taken within five days from receipt of the resolution.
The order was signed by Chairperson Associate Justice Rodolfo Ponferrada and members Associate Justices Oscar Herrera Jr. and Karl Miranda.
In seeking to suspend Villafuerte, the Office of the Special Prosecutor cited Section 13 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which provides that public officials charged with a valid information of graft will be preventively suspended from office and will lose his or her benefits at the time of his or her suspension.
Villafuerte, the son of the political clan patriarch Luis Villafuerte, was charged with graft for the anomalous procurement of petroleum products worth P20 million that was awarded to Jeffrey Lo, proprietor of the Naga Fuel Express Zone/Petron Naga Fuel Express, without the benefit of a public bidding. Villafuerte was then the governor of Camarines Sur.
According to the charge sheet, Villafuerte bought the petroleum products in three tranches in 2010: a release of P5 million on Jan. 22; P5 million between Jan. 7 and 23; and P10 million on April 7.
READ: Sandiganbayan recalls arrest of ex-CamSur gov after posting bail
Villafuerte won as Camarines Sur second district congressman in the 2016 elections.
The patriarch Luis Villafuerte Sr. was beaten in the third district congressional race by councilor Gabriel Bordado Jr., the anointed one of erstwhile congresswoman and now Vice President Leni Robredo. Villafuerte Sr. served as governor for 15 years.
The younger Villafuerte, Migz, is the incumbent governor of Camarines Sur. JE/rga
READ: Political dynasties win some, lose some
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