Presidential adviser to comply with suspension order-A A +A
Friday, February 3, 2012
MALACANANG said Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection Nereus Acosta will comply with an anti-graft court's decision placing him under 90-day preventive suspension for supposedly misusing government funds.
The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division suspended Acosta for alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel in 2000 and 2001 while still a congressman of Bukidnon.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Office of the President (OP) already received a copy of the Sandiganbayan’s decision last Thursday.
She said the OP has been given a particular period of time to comply with the suspension order.
The complaint against Acosta was filed by anti-corruption group Bukidnon Crusade Against Graft and Corruption accusing him of using his pork barrel to buy a P2.5-million solar tunnel dryer for the Municipal Government of Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon in 2001, the time when his mother - Socorro - was still the mayor of the said municipality.
Another P2.5 million was also reportedly given to the Bukidnon Integrated Network of Home Industries (Binhi) Inc., a private cooperative, and P5.5 million to Bukidnon Vegetable Producers Cooperative (BVPC), which is also a private entity.
Socorro was supposedly a member and director of BVPC while Acosta's aunt, Ma. Nemia Bornidor, was a member of the board of Binhi. Acosta’s mother and aunt were also indicted for graft due to the alleged misuse of public funds.
Acosta earlier said that the Sandiganbayan could not suspend him from office because he was a presidential appointee and a member of the Cabinet, noting it would be tantamount to suspending the President.
He was later criticized for saying that but Malacanang came to his defense.
Acosta ran for senator under the Liberal Party chaired by President Aquino, but lost in the elections.
He was appointed by Aquino as presidential adviser for environmental protection in August last year. He is also the concurrent general manager of the Laguna Lake Development Authority. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)