Former Isabela mayor, accountant convicted of graft
09 January 2017
The Office of the Ombudsman has obtained the conviction of Luna, Isabela ex-Mayor Manuel Tio and Accountant Lolita Cadiz after the Sandiganbayan Third Division found them guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019). They were sentenced to a penalty of six to eight years of imprisonment with perpetual disqualification from holding public office
Prosecutors from the Ombudsman proved that in 2008, Tio undertook the concreting of a one-kilometer road located along Barangays Harana and Mambabanga backed by a P5million funding sourced from the province. Tio chose Double A Gravel and Sand, a firm owned by a relative, as contractor to undertake the project without conducting any public bidding for the project. Tio also approved the payment to Double A totaling P2.5million despite the absence of supporting documents to affirm the legitimacy of the disbursement.
Tio admitted during the trial that no public bidding was resorted to by the municipality and claimed that Double A was the only supplier willing to undertake the project on credit.
According to the Sandiganbayan, “no explanation was made for the haste in the implementation of the project.”
“The court finds that accused Tio’s acts of awarding the contract to Double A without public bidding and his approval of the disbursement voucher despite the lack of supporting documents, are attended with manifest partiality and gross inexcusable negligence,” the Decision stated. ###