Oct 022013
The Sandiganbayan has found a former Maguindanao mayor and his treasurer guilty of graft and malversation of public funds for pocketing the salary of a councilor in 2000.

Councilor Bhernie Bagundang, as private complainant, said he did not receive his April 2000 salary, which the court said went to erstwhile Kabuntalan mayor Salipongan Dagloc.

In a 22-page decision, the anti-graft court said Dagloc influenced then acting municipal treasurer Usman Zailon to release Bagundang’s salary to him.

The court ruled that Dagloc and Zailon failed to present evidence to prove their innocence. Both also failed to appear in court after posting bail and have since remained at large with warrants of arrest against them.

“This, the court holds, constitutes flight which is an indication of guilt,” a portion of the ruling said.

Dagloc was convicted of two counts of violating Section 3(a) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits the persuading and influencing public officer to commit a violation.

He was sentenced to imprisonment of minimum six years and one month to maximum 10 years for each count, and a perpetual disqualification from public office.

Both Dagloc and Zailon were also found guilty of malversation of public funds under the Revised Penal Code, and were each sentenced to imprisonment of minimum 10 years and a day as prision mayor to maximum 16 years, five months, and 11 days of reclusion temporal.

They were also penalized with a P14,229 fine each and a perpetual disqualification from public office.

The court ruled that Dagloc and Zailon were to pay Bagundang P14,229 in compensation with 12 percent legal annual interest and with April 2000 as date of reckoning until the amount is fully paid.

The Sandiganbayan ruling was penned by  Associate Justice Oscar Herrera, Jr. and concurred in by Associate Justices Teresita Diaz-Baldoz and Napoleon Inoturan. Marc Jayson Cayabyab/KBK, GMA News

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