Misamis Oriental ex-guv vows to appeal case-A A +A
Friday, March 8, 2013
FORMER Misamis Oriental governor Antonio Calingin expressed dismay over the ruling of the Sandiganbayan sentencing him to six years imprisonment, but vowed to appeal his case.
In a press statement obtained by Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Friday, Calingin believed the decision of the Sandiganbayan is a move undertaken by his political opponents in order to discredit his candidacy.
The former governor is running for congressional seat in the second district of Misamis Oriental in the May 13 elections.
“Ang panahon sa paggawas sa hukom usa ka dakong katingalahan kay kini gitumong sa panahon sa nagka-init nga eleksiyon nga siya (Calingin) mikandidato isip kongresista ug sa kadugayon nga wala siya nahilambigit sa politika wala man kini milihok nga kaso,” the statement read.
As reported in a national paper, the Sandiganbayan Second Division, in its decision dated March 4, found Calingin guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for using the province’s resources and manpower in a project undertaken outside Misamis Oriental by a private company owned by his family in 2003.
The Sandiganbayan handed down an indefinite sentence of six years and one month to 10 years imprisonment and perpetual disqualification from public office against the former governor.
However, Calingin said the Sandiganbayan’s decision is not yet “final and executory,” citing his lawyers have already filed for a motion for reconsideration. “And because of this, Calingin may not be disqualified from running and will remain a candidate for the congressional seat in the second district.”
Calingin was accused of giving unwarranted benefit to the family-owned Grain Resources Development Corp. by allowing the use of the Provincial Government-owned heavy equipment and manpower for the repair, construction and rehabilitation of a three-kilometer road in San Miguel, Talakag, Bukidnon.
The road allegedly led to a farm being managed and developed by the family corporation.
The Ombudsman, which filed the case, said the project was beyond the territorial jurisdiction of Misamis Oriental and was undertaken to the damage and prejudice of the Provincial Government.
In 2003, the Office of the President found Calingin guilty of dishonesty, gross negligence and grave abuse misconduct and suspended him for six months without pay.
Even with this, Calingin said the case will not weaken him but rather give him more strength and encouragement to face the people of Misamis Oriental, particularly in the second district. (Annabelle L. Ricalde)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 09, 2013.