By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
QUEZON CITY (BicolToday.com) – The Sandiganbayan Second Division issued on April 1, this year the suspension order for sixty days to Sta. Magdalena town mayor Alejandro Gamos for malversation of public funds after its judicious assessment of the arguments propounded in the pleadings of accused mayor.
The anti-graft court grants the prosecution’s Motion to Suspend Accused Pendente Lite Mayor Alejandro Gamos as Municipal Mayor of Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon for sixty (60) days docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. SB-15-CRM-0090-0091, saying that it has the legal and jurisprudential authority to order the preventive suspension of an incumbent public official, throwing out the comments and rejoinder of Gamos.
The court cited Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code. It further said the Section 13 of R.A. 3019, the anti-graft and corrupt practices act is so specific in its coverage of mandatory suspension to include all incumbent public officers against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information or for any offense involving fraud upon the government or public funds or property.
Gamos undergone preliminary investigation at the Office of the Ombudsman prior to the filing of criminal information against him and, a pre-suspension hearing was granted giving him fifteen days to comment and opposed the information filed by the prosecution on its motion for suspension pendente lite, and another five days for a rejoinder and his motion to quash, was denied by the Sandiganbayan on November last year.
The records also revealed that Gamos and his co-accused entered into arraignment and were actually arraigned with counsel assistance on January 27, 2016, in effect the validity of the information was sustained by the prosecution.
The dispositive portion; “ Wherefore, in the light of the foregoing, the Court hereby Grants the motion and accordingly orders the suspension pendente lite of Alejandro E. Gamos, Municipal Mayor of Sta.Magdalena, Sorsogon, and from any other position which he may now or hereafter be holding, for a period of sixty (60) days.”
The six page order was signed by Justice Teresita V. Diaz-Baldos concurred by Justices Napoleon E. Inoturan and Michaerl Frederick L. Musngi. [BicolToday.com]