Ex-Davao town mayor’s conviction for graft affirmed
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has affirmed the conviction of a former municipal mayor in Davao Oriental in connection with a P2-million loan grant from a financial consultancy firm in 2010. 

In a resolution promulgated on Feb. 17, the anti-graft court said former Caraga mayor William Duma-an failed to raise meritorious arguments in his motion for reconsideration that could warrant the reversal of an earlier ruling finding him guilty of violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

“Duma-an’s motion was devoid of merit,” the Sandiganbayan Third Division said in the recent ruling.

The anti-graft court earlier sentenced Duma-an to six to 10 years in prison for receiving a personal loan from financial consultancy firm RR Summit Consultants Inc. in 2010.

It said the loan was reportedly granted in exchange for a promise for Duma-an to facilitate the release of consultancy fees to the company for the services it rendered in obtaining funding for the municipal government’s projects.

These projects included construction of a public market, transport terminal and commecial complex.

Aside from imposing a prison term, the court perpetually disqualified Duma-an from holding public office.

Records showed Duma-an wrote a letter to an officer of the RR Summit Consultants Inc., stating the municipality’s unconditional commitment to pay the professional services of the company.

“On July 10, 2010, or a day after writing the letter, Duma-an received the first P1 million from the RR Summit Consultants Inc.,” the court said in an earlier ruling.

The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act prohibits public officials from receiving gifts or benefits from any party involved in government transactions, in which the official has the power to intervene.

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