Sandiganbayan convicts former Bohol vice-mayor 

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan convicted former Vice-Mayor Josil Trabajo of Carmen, Bohol for violating the anrti-graft and corrupt law.

The Sandiganbayan sentenced Trabajo to a penalty of six years to 10 years imprisonment, with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

It appreciated the prosecution’s evidence showing that Trabajo, in his official capacity as presiding officer of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB), had financial or pecuniary interest in the implementation of farm-to-market road projects of the municipality in 2003.

Evidence showed that in October 2000, Trabajo instructed the SB to pass two resolutions to fast-track the implementation of barangay road projects covering the areas of Vallehermoso-Montehermoso and Luan La-Salvacion.  The accused admitted that in 2003, he supplied limestone “anapog” and was paid P75,150.00 for 501 loads of “anapog” for the municipality’s projects.

In its Decision, the Court gave no credence to Trabajo’s defense that he did not benefit from the transaction because he was paid only a year after, and ruled that “failure to show that [accused] profited from the transaction would not necessarily result in acquittal.”

“Neither can he exonerate himself from culpability by arguing that it was Engr. Gudia [municipal engineer] who suggested that Trabajo supply the anapog instead, because as Vice Mayor, he was a local government official who should have known the rules and prohibitions with regard to conflict of interest,” it added.

Co-accused former Mayor Pedro Budiongan, Jr. was acquitted for lack of sufficient evidence to prove conspiracy between them.

Under Section 3(h) of R.A. No. 3019, government officials and employees are prohibited from directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.-Harold V. Pontongan/Newsline.ph

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