THE Sandiganbayan has issued a 60-day preventive suspension order on a Surigao del Norte province mayor after he was found guilty for graft for appointing his sister as his consultant, the Office of the Ombudsman reported Thursday.
As posted on its official website, the Ombudsman stated that San Benito town Mayor Rushford Dedumo has violated section 3 of the Republic Act 3019, otherwise known as The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Republic Act 3019 states that any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this law, for any offense involving fraud upon government, is pending in court, shall be suspended.
In January last year, the Office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao (OMB-Min) found probable cause to charge Dedumo and his sister Flordeliza Coro, who is a former judge, for allegedly giving the latter unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference through her appointment as a consultant at the Office of the Mayor.
The information also alleged that Dedumo caused undue injury to the municipality when he allowed Coro to obtain a cash advance for travel expenses worth P22,760 despite not being an employee of the municipality.
Coro returned the money to the municipal government, but the Ombudsman claimed the act does not erase her culpability under the law.
The Supreme Court earlier issued a dismissal order on Dedumo’s sister from being a municipal judge in Del Carmen town in Surigao del Norte.
According to the Ombudsman, the Sandiganbayan has directed Secretary Eduardo Año, of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to implement the suspension order.