MANILA Three former local officials of Bansalan, Davao del Sur are facing a 10-year jail term after the Sandiganbayan found them guilty of graft for issuing a mayor's permit despite the firecrackers ban in 2009.
The anti-graft court's Special 7th Division, in a decision dated last Aug. 31, found former Bansalan, Davao del Sur Mayor Edwin Reyes, Business Permits and Licensing Officer Rita Domingo, Bansalan police chief Supt. Solomon de Castilla guilty of graft for allowing the sale of firecrackers despite the ban. Reyes is currently vice mayor of Bansalan.
Wherefore, premises considered, accused are found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Each of the accused is sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of six years and one month as minimum to 10 years as maximum, the decision said.
The three were also perpetually disbarred from holding any public office.
Meanwhile, former fire marshall Gil Andres was also charged with the same offense but remains at large.
The case was filed against Reyes when he issued a mayor's permit on Dec. 14, 2009, allowing the sale of firecrackers at the Bansalan public market.
On Dec. 17 of the same year, the market was gutted by fire when a display of fireworks for sale was accidentally ignited by a lit cigarette butt.
The incident prompted the filing of the complaint against Reyes as there was a standing prohibition by Municipal Ordinance No. 357 enacted in 2005 that prohibits the sale of firecrackers within the premises of the buildings of the public market. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency