Sandigan suspends Romblon lawmaker for 90 days
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - August 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Rep. Eleandro Jesus Madrona will have to vacate his office for 90 days in connection with the charges he is facing over the fertilizer fund scam.

The office of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano was directed to implement the suspension order, according to a resolution promulgated by Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division on Aug. 5.

The anti-graft court said Madrona’s suspension is mandatory under Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Section 13 of RA 3019 orders the suspension of an incumbent public official charged with graft or offenses under the Revised Penal Code as well as those involving public funds or property or fraud against government.

The Sandiganbayan said the validity of the case was affirmed when it denied the motions to dismiss the case filed by Madrona and his co-accused.

The Supreme Court also denied Madrona’s petition to reverse the Sandiganbayan ruling finding probable cause to proceed with his trial.

No problem

Madrona said he has yet to receive a copy of the Sandiganbayan ruling even as he gave assurance that he would abide by the decision.

 “I have no problem obeying the court. I will not contest its order,” he said.

Madrona and five other former Romblon provincial government officials were charged with graft for giving “unwarranted benefits, privilege and advantage” to Feshan Philippines Inc. when he was governor in 2004.

Feshan bagged the contract for the supply of 3,333 bottles of organic liquid fertilizer for P1,500 per bottle or a total of P4.86 million.

The Office of the Ombudsman said the purchase was through direct contracting instead of public bidding.

The complaints were filed by former Romblon town vice mayor Lyndon Molino. – With Jess Diaz

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