The anti-graft jurisdiction court Sandiganbayan has ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to impose the 90-day suspension to incumbent Roxas, Isabela Vice Mayor Servando Soriano, according to the Ombudsman said on Tuesday, September 27th.
In a resolution, the Sandiganbayan ratified the motion filed by Ombudsman prosecutors citing the mandatory suspension of an official under investigation, in accordance to the Section 13 of Philippine Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Vice Mayor Soriano is facing charges for violating the section 3 (e) of RA 3019 and Malversation of Public Funds in connection with the “unlawful” P25-million grant made by the provincial government of Isabela to the Economic Development for Western Isabela and Northern Luzon Foundation, Inc. (EDWINLFI) dating back in 2006.
The Section 13 of RA 3019 warrants the suspension of any incumbent government official facing a pending criminal cases in the court for offenses involving fraud on the government or public funds or any property.
Soriano was reported to have contemporaneously served as the director of EDWINLFI, a non-government organization (NGO) selected to manage a credit facility for the farmers in Isabela province under a hybrid seed distribution program.
The Ombudsman questioned the failure to organized a public bidding and noted the absence of any provision for safeguards on the amount entrusted to the non-government organization.
The allegation was made during the administration of the former Isabela Governor Grace Padaca. The Ombudsman has already ordered the filing of charges against the ex-governor Padaca and two other officials. Padaca was accused of giving disproportionate advantage to the EDWINLFI. — Cetureon.com