Surigao Sur mayor convicted of graft, malversation
Ben Serrano (The Philippine Star) - July 12, 2019 - 12:00am

BUTUAN CITY , Philippines  —  Reelected Mayor Roberto Luna Jr. of Lingig, Surigao del Sur may spend up to 24 years in prison after he was convicted of the various charges filed against him before the Sandiganbayan over the illegal disbursement of the honoraria of job order employees in 2000.

In a decision recently promulgated by the anti-graft court’s third division, Luna was sentenced to six months to six years in prison for falsification of public documents, six to eight years for graft and six to 10 years for malversation.

Luna was also perpetually disqualified from holding public office and ordered to pay a fine of P1.6 million.

Municipal executive assistant Jethro Lindo, accountant Venus Carlos, treasurer  Ebrencio Indoyon Jr. and clerk Nilda Ferrando were also found guilty of the charges.

The cases stemmed from the disbursement of  P1,610,800 as supposed payment for the honoraria and per diems of 101 job order workers without an appropriation ordinance.

 “It appeared that job order workers were hired and rendered services when such was not the truth,” the court ruling penned by Associate Justice Sarah Jane Fernandez read.

The check covering the amount was released two days ahead of the approval of the cash advance, the court added. 

Luna, who is on the drug watchlist of President Duterte, was arrested a few days before the May 13 elections after a raid on his house allegedly yielded unlicensed guns, explosives and illegal drugs.

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