Leyte officials sentenced to 6-years imprisonment over excessive honorarium

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines —The Sandiganbayan convicted the  five members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC)  of Tabontabon, Leyte, for collective excessive honorarium.

In a  12-page Decision, the  anti-graftcourt sentenced Edgardo Cinco, Luzminda Bibar, Meonilo Reforzado, Ricardo Efren and Alfredo Canonigo,  to imprisonment of six years and one month for each count.

They were also ordered to indemnify the municipality the sum of P272,000.00, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

Records show that from January 2007 to May 2007, each of the accused received a total of P34,000.00 as BAC member, which amount exceeded the limit set by Department of Budget and Management Circular Nos. 2004-5 and 2004-5A on the grant of honoraria which must not exceed 25% of the basic monthly salary of each member with funding to be sourced from bidding activities.

Prosecutors presented documents showing that the amount exceeded Cinco’s monthly salary of P15,314.00, Bibar’s P14,874.00, Reforzado’s P7,374.00, Efren’s P6,288.00, and Canonigo’s P4,277.00.

The court also found that the BAC did not conduct any public bidding, and the payment of honorarium was sourced from the municipality’s Annual Investment Fund.

Speaking through Associate Justice Bayani Jacinto, the Sandiganbayan stated that “as against the documentary proof submitted by the prosecution, the said accused offered no defense that would supply any alternative context or justification for their actions.”-Jiann A. Padillo/Newsline.ph

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