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Nation

Mayor charged with ‘swindling’ Palace

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BAGUIO CITY — A Benguet town mayor was charged before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly swindling Malacañang into releasing P8 million to finance "unconfirmed" infrastructure projects in his town last year.

Justice Anacleto Badoy Jr., chairman of the Sandiganbayan Third Division, directed law enforcers to bring Tublay town mayor Willy Velasco. Before the court as soon as possible. A bail of P12,000 was recommended for Velasco’s provisional liberty.

The mayor’s arrest order stemmed from separate complaints filed by Tublay Vice Mayor Daniel Pontino and Councilors Joseph Eckmon, James Quiac and Angeline Golocan, who accused Velasco of making them sign a resolution in May 2001 through her secretary, Jovelyn Desierto.

The said resolution, 44-2001 dated April 10, 2001, requested former Executive Secretary Renato de Villa, through lawyer Rene Puno, to appropriate P8 million for the construction of two flood control, multipurpose building and waterworks in Tublay.

According to the complainants, the signing and approval of the resolution prompted Malacañang to release the money to finance the said projects.

The complainants narrated that they were made to believe that the document they signed was the excerpt of the minutes of the meeting of the municipal council held on April 10, 2001.

However, they realized then, that "there was in fact no meeting of the municipal council held on April 10, 2001, nor was there a resolution of the council deliberated and approved on that day." — Artemio Dumlao

ARTEMIO DUMLAO

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY RENATO

JAMES QUIAC AND ANGELINE GOLOCAN

JOVELYN DESIERTO

JUSTICE ANACLETO BADOY JR.

MALACA

RENE PUNO

SANDIGANBAYAN THIRD DIVISION

TUBLAY

TUBLAY VICE MAYOR DANIEL PONTINO AND COUNCILORS JOSEPH ECKMON

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