Governor serves suspension but insists no basis for graft raps
DAVAO CITY—North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza on Friday started serving the suspension ordered by the Sandiganbayan, but maintained the graft charges filed against her for an alleged anomalous purchase of fuel for a government road project had no basis, her lawyer said.
“While Governor Mendoza maintains that the charges of graft filed against her have no basis, in deference to the Sandiganbayan, she has chosen to voluntarily serve out her suspension,” Vincent Paul Montejo, Mendoza’s counsel, said in a statement.
He said Mendoza received the order on Thursday.
The antigraft court on Tuesday suspended Mendoza for 90 days over the procurement of fuel from a gasoline station owned by her mother, Noemi Taliño.
The charge sheet said she authorized the release of P2.4 million from provincial funds to pay for 49,526.72 liters of diesel bought from her mother’s gas station. The fuel was intended for a road grader and four dump trucks used for a two-day road rehabilitation project.
The Sandiganbayan also noted that no public bidding was held.
But Mendoza said it was only the Taliño Shell Station which was “willing to accommodate the credit term requested by the provincial government.”
The governor also denied she handpicked her mother’s establishment, saying this was done by the province’s bids and awards committee.—ALLAN NAWAL
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