Sandiganbayan suspends Pampanga mayor for 90 days
03 May 2018
The Sandiganbayan ordered Guagua, Pampanga Mayor Dante Torres to cease and desist from performing the duties and privileges of his position, or any other public office he may be now holding for 90 days.
Torres is facing charges of Illegal Use of Public Funds (Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code) for utilizing P2.7 million to fund the rehabilitation of a municipal park instead of its intended purpose of rehabilitation of the Aurelio Tolentino Frontage area and purchase of equipment.
Citing the case of Santiago v. Sandiganbayan, the court emphasized that “the authority of the Sandiganbayan to order the preventive suspension of an incumbent public official has both legal and jurisprudential support. It would appear, indeed, to be a ministerial duty of the court to issue an order of suspension upon determination of the validity of the Information filed before it.”
The Sandiganbayan directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government to implement the order.
Under Section 13 of R.A. No. 3019, any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act or under Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code or for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property whether as a simple or as a complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. ###