THE Sandiganbayan Third Division found a former mayor of Daet, Camarines Norte guilty of two criminal cases and was ordered detained from eight to 14 years for the alleged overpayment of the newly-built Daet Public Market to Markbilt Construction in 2008.
Former Mayor Tito Sarion was meted six years to eight years imprisonment for a graft case and ordered detained for two years to six years on malversation of public funds.
The anti-graft division also ordered him to return P1 million in excess payment and was barred from holding any government position.
“By approving payment of P1 million in municipal funds to Markbilt, when the municipality of Daet is not liable therefor as there was no requisite approval by the GPPB and no facial and/or legal justification therefor as determined by the NEDA, accused Sarion caused undue injury to the municipality of Daet,” said the ruling.
In a related development, the Office of the Ombudsman filed a graft case against Hinabangan, Western Samar Mayor Alejandro Abarratigue, municipal treasurer Raul Tapia and Administrative Officer II Analiza Bagro over the alleged anomalous purchase of a lot worth P500,000 in 2008 from the relatives of the late Isidro Abarracoso without the authorization of the Sangguniang Bayan.
Based on the information, Abarratigue signed the disbursement voucher to pay the lot and entered in a contract with Ofelia Abarracoso, wife of Isidro, and her children.
The charge sheet said that Tapia released the certification about the existence of funds and Bagro issued the check for the payment.
The Office of the Ombudsman recommended P30,000 bail each for the accused.