Surigao del Sur Vice Governor Librado Navarro has agreed to voluntarily serve his preventive suspension pending his trial for graft before the Sandiganbayan.
Navarro, in an Aug. 8. letter, told the provincial board that he is voluntarily submitting himself for preventive suspension for a period of 90 days— issued by the antigraft court’s Second Division, after he was informed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) provincial office about it.
He said his voluntary suspension is not an indication of guilt.
He also stressed that he would not challenge the Sandigan’s suspension order “to avoid delay and to enable me to continue doing my work without further interruption after 90 days of preventive suspension.”
“I opted to submit myself voluntarily and to accept the preventive suspension order from the DILG, instead of challenging it to the Supreme Court,” he told the provincial council.
Navarro faces a graft charge in connection with Bislig City’s allegedly anomalous purchase of a hydraulic excavator worth P14.75 million.
He was the mayor of Bislig at the time of the transaction with RDAK Transport Equipment Inc. in 2012.
The project was allegedly awarded to RDAK despite noncompliance with the technical specifications concerning engine power, bucket capacity and operating weight, and the Commission on Audit’s notice of disallowance on the purchase.
The court said Navarro’s suspension was mandatory in compliance with Section 13 of the Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which states that an incumbent public officer facing a valid information of graft or violation of Revised Penal Code involving fraud of public funds should be preventively suspended from office.
The court ordered the Interior and Local Government Secretary to implement the order. By CLC