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Bacolod mayor cleared of graft, malversation
In an order dated Feb. 8 and released on Wednesday, the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed the graft and malversation charges filed against Leonardia, accountant officer-in-charge Eduardo Ravena and Ricardo Dahildahil, management and audit services OIC.
STAR/File

Bacolod mayor cleared of graft, malversation

Gilbert Bayoran (The Philippine Star) - May 7, 2021 - 12:00am

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Mayor Evelio Leonardia and two other city government officials have been cleared of the charges filed against them in connection with the purchase of gasoline in 2007.

In an order dated Feb. 8 and released on Wednesday, the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed the graft and malversation charges filed against Leonardia, accountant officer-in-charge Eduardo Ravena and Ricardo Dahildahil, management and audit services OIC.

“That the fuel product paid for by the city was used for the purposes they were intended negates any finding that respondents... acted out of... furtive design or intent to cause damage to the government,” the decision read.

The anti-graft agency said there was no indication that Leonardia, Ravena and Dahildahil acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.

The respondents had argued that the petroleum product was delivered by way of constitutum possessorium, which allows the use of the gasoline stations that supplied the fuel as its temporary storage facility.

Leonardia said the legal basis used in finding probable cause against them had no bearing as it governed procurements from wholesalers of petroleum products.

He said their case involved procurements from gasoline stations selling on retail.

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