Bataan mayor suspended for overpriced land purchase
by Allan Yves Briones
Mayor Nelson David of Limay, Bataan has been suspended by the Sandiganbayan 6th Division pending the outcome of his trial for his graft charges.
In a 5-page resolution written by Associate Justice Karl Miranda, the court held that the law is clear regarding the matter.
“The court has neither discretion nor duty to determine whether suspension pendente lite is required to prevent the accused from using his office to intimidate witnesses or frustrate his prosecution or continue committing malfeasance in office,” the court said.
David faces charges for violating Section 3(e) and (g) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for allegedly authorizing the overpriced purchase of agricultural land worth P10.18 million owned by his two sons in 2002.
His two sons, Richie Jayson and Christian Ryan David, were also allegedly part of the Municipal Appraisal Committee.
Under Section 13 of RA No. 3019, a public officer charged with graft or bribery “shall be suspended from office” while the case is pending in court.
David argued that the suspension is unnecessary because he was not the mayor for almost a decade, and as such, is not able to influence, pressure or intimidate witnesses or tamper with documents.
To which the court replied that his argument holds no water, imposing a 90-day preventive suspension on the Bataan mayor.
If found guilty, David is stripped off all retirement benefits, forever banned from holding public office, and is to pay damages to the municipal government.
Undersigned in the resolution are Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez and Associate Justice Kevin Narce Vivero. #
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