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Bohol ex-mayor, wife charged with graft

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of charges against a former mayor of a town in Bohol over a lease contract for a stall in a public market.

To be indicted for graft are former Baclayon mayor Felix Uy and his wife, Sangguniang Bayan member Marilyn, and Vice Mayor Joel Oppus.

Records show that in November 1996, Oppus and Marilyn entered into a 25-year lease agreement that was renewable for another 25 years for a market stall.

Ombudsman probers said the other lease contracts were good only for five years.

Felix was in the United States when the contract was signed.

“There is reason to believe that Felix’s visit abroad was timed precisely to provide a smokescreen for the prohibited transaction,” the ombudsman said in its ruling.

The Uy couple conspired with Oppus to give them unwarranted benefits, privilege and advantage, it added.

“Felix has direct financial and material interest in Marilyn’s lease contract, a transaction requiring the approval of his office,” the ombudsman said.

The ombudsman said public officials and employees are prohibited from “having conflicting financial, material, pecuniary or business interests.”

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