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Sandigan suspends Or. Mindoro solon.

The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division has ordered the suspension of Oriental Mindoro First District Representative Paulino Salvador Leachon and fellow co-accused over a graft case involving the misuse of dump trucks in 2009.

In its resolution released yesterday, the graft court ordered the congressman suspended from office pendente lite for 90 days along with co-accused, Calapan City Engineer Benjamin Acedera.

With this, the two accused were directed to cease and desist from performing his functions and duties as well as receiving salaries, benefits and privileges.

The Fourth Division also informed the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives that it is not tasked to implement the suspension order but to inform the court when Leachon voluntarily complied with the directive.

The tribunal warned that "the Court may exercise its inherent power to cite him in contempt for disobeying its lawful order."

On the other hand, the graft court directed Calapan City Arnan C. Panaligan or his duly authorized representative to enforce the suspension order against Acedera.

The Fourth Division issued the suspension order after granting the request of the prosecution to suspend Leachon and Acedera pendente lite (during litigation) for 90 days.

Citing Section 13 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019), the Fourth Division explained that a mandatory suspension is imposed against any public official indicted under "a valid information charging a crime defined in said law, or any felony defined in Title Seven, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, or any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property."

Under the graft case, Leachon and his co-accused were accused letting private individual Juan Vinas, who is also a co-accused, in the use of the city's five dumptrucks and their drivers in delivering and unloading sand to the private property of Vinas in 2009 when Leachon was mayor of Calapan City.

The use of the dump trucks and the drivers was allegedly done without Vinas paying the city government the corresponding rentals.


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Title Annotation:Provincial
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Apr 7, 2015
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