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Jail term for ex-Agusan Sur town mayor, councilors over fund misuse

The Sandiganbayan has convicted a former Agusan del Sur mayor and six former councilors on graft and malversation charges for allegedly misappropriating the P1.6-million funding for the construction of the municipal building.

The court’s Fourth Division on Sept. 28 found former Loreto, Agusan del Sur Mayor Herminio Reyes guilty of one count of violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and one count of malversation.

He drew prison terms of six to 10 years for graft and another six to 10 years for malversation.

Meanwhile, former Sangguniang Bayan presiding officer Virgilio Julao and members Ma. Marley Daday, Leo Gomez, Arturo Estil, Joel Plaza and Romeo Magadan were each sentenced to six to 10 years in prison for one count of graft.

In a 28-page decision penned by Associate Justice Alex Quiroz, the court also perpetually barred the convicted officials from holding public office.

The case arose from the transfer of the public funds meant for the construction of a municipal building to the bank account of private entity Loreto Transport Services Association Inc. on March 10, 2003.

According to the antigraft court, although a resolution authorized the release of the funds for the municipal building project, the amount was used for a livelihood project in the form of loans to government employees. By CLC

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