DILG suspends North Cotabato governor
Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - August 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the 90-day suspension of North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco over the fertilizer fund scam.

The DILG served the suspension order on Catamco on Thursday afternoon.

The Sandiganbayan ordered the DILG to implement the suspension order after the anti-graft court dismissed Catamco’s appeal to reconsider its ruling.

The court earlier found that arguments raised by the governor were a rehash that have already been considered by the court. 

The Sandiganbayan said Catamco’s suspension is mandatory in accordance with Section 13 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The charges stemmed from the award by the municipal government of Poro, Cebu of a P5-million contract to Perzebros Co., which  is owned by Catamco and her husband, without public bidding.
The Commission on Audit found that the liquid fertilizer was overpriced by P1,092 per bottle for a supply contract of 3,333 bottles. 

Catamco is also facing another graft case in connection with a contract with the municipal government of Lazi, Siquijor that was awarded in January 2005. 

Catamco said yesterday her suspension is only a temporary setback for her administration’s peace and governance initiatives.

Catamco’s suspension stemmed from a 2004 graft case filed before the ombudsman.

Catamco was elected North Cotabato governor in the last May election. She also served as congresswoman in 2010 and was reelected twice.

“This is only a temporary setback. I’m saddened with this development. I know how my supporters feel about this suspension but we have to abide with law. Our zeal to spread peace and development in the province will never be dampened. This is just a three-month suspension,” Catamco said.

Catamco said she will continue with her peace and security programs for North Cotabato as soon as she has fully served the 90-day suspension from office. – With John Unson

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