Negros Oriental mayor faces 90-day suspension pendente lite
07 November 2017
Jimalalud, Negros Oriental Mayor Reynaldo Tuanda, who is standing trial for violation of Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019), was ordered suspended by the Sandiganbayan for 90 days.
In an eight-page Resolution, the Sandiganbayan stated that Tuanda must be suspended pendente lite to safeguard the interests of the State. It reiterated that the suspension is not a penalty, “[r]ather the suspension under Section 13 of R.A. No. 3019 is a mere preventive measure that arises from the legal presumption that unless the accused is suspended, he may frustrate his prosecution or commit further acts of malfeasance or do both.”
Tuanda was indicted and arraigned on 5 September 2017 under an Information filed by the Office of the Ombudsman, alleging that he took advantage of his position as mayor by unlawfully granting himself a permit to operate or engage as a cockpit promoter from January 8, 2010 to December 31, 2010 thereby gaining direct financial and pecuniary interest in cockfights within the municipality.
The Office of the Provincial Governor of Negros Oriental was directed to implement the suspension. ###