CJ NEWS

SAMAR CONG. MILA TAN, ONE OTHER, GUILTY FOR 8 COUNTS OF GRAFT; ANOTHER CO-ACCUSED FOR SENTENCED FOR 2 COUNTS


SAMAR CONG. MILA TAN, ONE OTHER, GUILTY FOR 8 COUNTS OF GRAFT; ANOTHER CO-ACCUSED FOR SENTENCED FOR 2 COUNTS
The Sandiganbayan finds Congresswoman Milagrosa Tee Tan guilty for eight (8) counts of Violations of Section 3(e) of Republic Act no. 3019 otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
. . . . x x x x . . . .
(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. . . x x x x x

Having been found “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” in all of the 8 cases for corrupt practices committed in the alleged anomalous purchase of Php16.1 million worth of emergency supplies in the year 2001, Tan was sentenced by the Fourth Division of the Anti-Graft Court to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment for a total of 62 to 115 years with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
SAMAR CONG. MILA TAN, ONE OTHER, GUILTY FOR 8 COUNTS OF GRAFT; ANOTHER CO-ACCUSED FOR SENTENCED FOR 2 COUNTS
The accused is shown facing the Honorable Justices in the sala of the 4th Division of the Sandiganbayan in Quezon City during the promulgation of the Decision - March 01, 2019
The 114-page Decision written by Associate Justice Bayani Jacinto with the concurrence of Division Chairperson Alex Quiroz and Bernelito Fernandez was promulgated on March 01, 2019 with only the dispositive portion read.

Tan is currently under preventive suspension for three month since the second week of December when the Order was served. The preventive suspension order is relative to the cases covered under the Decision subject of this story.


One other (among several) accused, Rolando Bolastig Montejo, was also sentenced to suffer the same prison terms to that of Tan being accused and convicted in the same 8 cases while another accused and convicted only in two graft cases, Reynaldo Angeles Yabut was sentenced to suffer a lesser prison term of 14 to 25 years. Both Montejo and Yabut, however, are also permanently banned from holding any public office.

Without prejudice to filing an appeal, Division Chief Justice Alex Quiroz ordered the convicted parties to post additional bail bond of Php240,000.00 each for continued provisional liberty and/or to prevent the issuance of a warrant of arrest. The Court Sherriff was directed to disallow the convicted accused from leaving the Sandiganbayan premises until the required additional bond is posted.

Meanwhile, “for failure of the prosecution to prove culpability beyond reasonable doubt,” accused Romeo Chan Reales; Maximo Dacunday Sison, Jr.; Aurelio Aquino Bardaje, Jr.; Numeriano Cuna Legaspi were acquitted. Thus, cash bond posted by accused Sison and surety bonds posted by accused Reales, Bardaje, Jr. and Legaspi are ordered released and cancelled, respectively. The Hold Departure Orders issued against the accused herein acquitted are hence also lifted.

SAMAR CONG. MILA TAN, ONE OTHER, GUILTY FOR 8 COUNTS OF GRAFT; ANOTHER CO-ACCUSED FOR SENTENCED FOR 2 COUNTS
Congressman Milagrosa T. Tan arrives at the Sandiganbayan on March 01, 2019 for the promulgation of the Decision of the graft cases against her.
Tan, on her third-term as congresswoman of the second district of Samar Province is again running for (her return as Samar) governor in this year’s midterm elections. Her candidacy, however, remains valid pending finality of the decision that declares her guilty of multiple graft. She was governor at the time of the alleged anomalous purchase in 2001 and was still governor when the case was filed in 2006 by Fr. Noel Labendia of the Isog Han Samar Movement (IHSM).

Fr. Labendia, founding leader of IHSM and who was then parish priest of the Diocese of Calbayog, claimed that the officials were in cahoots in approving anomalous purchases of Php16.1 million worth of supposed emergency supplies without any bidding with some of the requests for the supplies intended for victims of Typhoon “Kidang” turned out to have been made even before the typhoon.

Tan and several members of her family has long been in Samar politics. Daughter, third-termer incumbent Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan-Delos Santos is seeking to take her place in Congress in the forthcoming May 2019 elections. Switching positions earlier, Tan-Delos Santos was the youngest member of the House in 2007. On the other hand, son, Stephen James Tan, presently Samar Vice Governor, is seeking for a seat in Congress representing Samar’s first Legislative district opposing incumbent first-termer, Representative Edgar Mary Sarmiento.(CJ)


-, March 2, 2019


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The Calbayog Journal (also known as CJ)
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