Dapa, Pilar Mayors, 1 other charged with graft

THE Ombudsman yesterday approved the filing of graft charges against three municipal mayors and a barangay chairman from Mindanao for different cases.

Ordered charged were Mayors Lucio Tiu Gonzales of Pilar, Surigao del Norte; Peter Payna Ruaya of Dapa, Surigao del Norte; and Floro Allado of Banisilan, Cotabato.

Also named in the charge sheet was Dionisio Payna Ruaya, Sr., barangay chairman of Dapa, Surigao del Norte.

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez said Gonzales violated RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for unlawfully reassigning complainant Exuperancio Literato, the municipal agriculturist, and denying him of his representation and transportation allowance amounting to P5,600 a month.

Literato, who was appointed with a permanent status in August 2000, was replaced in March 2007 and reassigned as fisheries coordinator.

On the other hand, the Ruayas were ordered charged with graft before the Sandiganbayan for allowing the demolition of the Association of Barangay Council building in Dapa, Surigao del Norte.

The building sits on a 255 sq.m. lot donated by the municipality of Dapa to the Liga ng mga Barangay by then town mayor Alma Navarro.

The unfinished building was turned over to Dionisio Ruaya who was then ABC president on April 23, 2008. At that time, the ABC still had an unspent funding of P146,902.88.

Records of the case showed that after winning the 2007 elections, the Ruayas stopped the construction of the building, which was eventually demolished on Feb. 28, 2009 without proper authority from the Sangguniang Bayan of Dapa or from the Commission on Audit.

In another case, the Ombudsman approved the recommendation of the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Cotabato for the filing of homicide raps against Allado.

Allado mauled to death Romulo Bangud after a quarrel on Oct. 30, 2006. (Journal)

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