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Ex-Surigao del Norte mayor, 3 others arrested for graft

Police on Wednesday (Aug.29) arrested a former mayor of Sta. Monica, Surigao del Norte and three other former and incumbent town officials over a graft complaint they are facing at the Sandiganbayan.

Former Sta. Monica Mayor Rosalinda Penera, was arrested inside her house in Barangay Arlan Wednesday afternoon.

On the same day, municipal accountant Dianette Evangelista, former municipal budget officer Lei Amor Laplana and former municipal treasurer Aurea Menil were separately arrested by police.

Chief Supt. Noli Romana, Caraga police director, said Penera and the others, have been implicated in the alleged anomalous land purchase in 2010.

“We will continue to strengthen our campaign against wanted persons, whoever they are and whatever position they have in the community,” he said .

To secure temporary liberty, the former mayor and her co-accused would have to post bail amounting to P 30,000 each.

Penera, Evangelista, Laplana and Menil were indicted for violation of Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, when they approved the purchase of a parcel of land worth P980,000 despite the lack of specific appropriation ordinance from the Sangguniang Bayan of Sta. Monica to support the transaction.

In recommending the filing of criminal charges against Penera and the others, the Office of the Ombudsman said the acquisition of the land intended for the municipality’s Core Shelter Assistance Project (CSAP) was purportedly an act of giving unwarranted benefits and advantage to the owner of the land, a certain Rodulfo Arlan Sr. By CLC


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