Court orders suspension of CamSur solon
The Sandiganbayan has suspended Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymond Villafuerte Jr. pending litigation of his graft case involving the procurement of P20 million worth of fuel without a public bidding in 2010 when he was governor.
In a Sept. 7 resolution written by Associate Justice Rodolfo Ponferrada, the antigraft court’s Sixth Division directed Villafuerte to cease and desist from exercising his functions as congressman for 90 days.
The resolution also directed the Speaker of the House of Representatives to inform the court in writing of its actions within five days.
Speaking to reporters at the House, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he would refer the matter of Villafuerte’s suspension to the committee on rules.
Villafuerte is facing three counts of graft in relation to the alleged questionable fuel purchases of the Camarines Sur government.
Prosecutors cited Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, providing for the preventive suspension of public officers facing graft charges.
In arguing against his suspension, Villafuerte, who was arraigned in October 2013, said his suspension would “serve no purpose” considering the court case was already at an advanced stage of the criminal proceeding.
But the court said the stage of the criminal investigation was immaterial to suspension.
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