Magistrates of the anti-graft court’s fourth division denied for lack of merit the motions filed by Former Samar congresswoman and now Gov. Milagrosa Tan and her co-accused to reverse its March 2019 ruling.
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Sandigan affirms Samar governor’s 115-year sentence
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - July 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Former Samar congresswoman and now Gov. Milagrosa Tan will have to vacate her post and spend the rest of her life in prison.

The Sandiganbayan has affirmed its ruling convicting Tan of graft and sentencing her to up to 115 years in prison over the anomalous purchase of emergency supplies for victims of Typhoon Kidang worth P16.1 million when she was governor in 2001.

Magistrates of the anti-graft court’s fourth division denied for lack of merit the motions filed by Tan and her co-accused to reverse its March 2019 ruling.

Tan and four former provincial government officials were convicted of eight counts of graft.

The fourth division also ordered Tan’s perpetual disqualification from holding public office. It recommended bail of P240,000 for Tan’s temporary liberty while appealing her conviction.

“After considering the motions for reconsideration, the court maintains that while it was made to appear that there were competitive public biddings held by the provincial government... which led to the eventual award to Raechels Shoppers Plaza, none was in fact legitimately carried out,” the court said in its June 26 ruling, a copy of which was released yesterday.

“Accused were also unable to reconcile the disparity between the attendance sheets and the minutes for each bidding process. In addition, their testimonies contradicted those of their witnesses,” the ruling read. 

In filing the cases in 2006, the Office of the Ombudsman said the provincial government procured cement, medicine, t-shirts and electric fans for typhoon victims without public bidding.

Samar town acting mayor installed

Meanwhile, in San Sebastian town also in Samar, a four-member team from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday installed Vice Mayor Eleuterio Mabao as acting mayor.

First Councilor Vicky Mabulay was designated acting vice mayor based on the rule of succession.

Mabao replaced Mayor Arnold Abalos, who was perpetually disqualified from holding public office in view of the graft charges filed against him.

Under a DILG Memorandum issued on July 1, elected officials with dismissal and unserved suspension orders could not assume their posts unless cleared by the courts. – With Miriam Desacada

GRAFT AND CORRUPTION MILAGROSA TAN
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