In a 42-page decision promulgated on Feb. 15 and released to the media on Wednesday, the anti-graft court found Marty guilty of violating Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and a provision of the Revised Penal Code penalizing usurpation of authority.
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Zambales mayor gets 16 years for graft, usurpation
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has sentenced Mayor Luisito Marty of Sta. Cruz, Zambales to 16 years in prison for stopping the operations of two mining firms.

In a 42-page decision promulgated on Feb. 15 and released to the media on Wednesday, the anti-graft court found Marty guilty of violating Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and a provision of the Revised Penal Code penalizing usurpation of authority.

Aside from imprisonment, Marty was disqualified from holding public office and ordered to pay a fine of P50,000.

For violating the anti-graft law, Marty was sentenced from six to 10 years in prison. For usurpation he was meted four months to six years.

Filed by Office of the Ombudsman in January 2017, the cases against Marty stemmed from his refusal to grant business permits to Zambales Diversified Metals Corp. (ZDMC) and Zambales Chro-mite Mining Co. Inc. (ZCMC) in 2011 despite the firms’ compliance with environmental safety and standards.

Marty reportedly issued a memorandum in 2009, directing the municipal treasurer not to accept occupation fees from holders of mineral production-sharing agreement (MPSA) without first securing a mayor’s permit.

The ombudsman said by issuing the memorandum, Marty usurped the legislative powers of Congress.

It said a mayor’s permit is not a requisite of RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

Anti-graft investigators said because of Marty’s memorandum, the municipal treasurer refused to receive occupation fees from ZDMC and ZCMC, which at the time were holders of registered MPSAs.

The Sandiganbayan said Marty’s action caused undue injuries not only to ZDMC and ZCMC, but also to the provincial and municipal governments, which were deprived of income from occupation fees that should have been collected from the mining firms.

The anti-graft court said Marty abused his authority as mayor when he issued the memorandum.  – With Bebot Sison Jr.

GRAFT LUISITO MARTY
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