Antique town mayor faces graft raps for cutting 245 coconut trees

MANILA — The Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday filed graft and administrative charges before the anti-graft court against a municipal mayor in Antique province for allegedly cutting coconut trees without the necessary permit prior the clearing operations.

The Ombudsman charged Caluya, Antique Mayor Genevive Lim-Reyes before the Sandiganbayan with violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, and Section 5 of the Coconut Preservation Act of 1995.

The anti-graft body alleged that Reyes ordered the clearing of 245 coconut trees without complying with legal processes and securing the Philippine Coconut Authority’s (PCA) permit in 2014.

The Ombudsman also claimed that Reyes failed to consult the occupants of the five-hectare farmland owned by a certain Juliet Ramos in Barangay Tinogboc, Caluya, Antique before ordering the clearing of the coconuts trees.

The anti-graft body has recommended a PHP42,000 bail bond for Reyes’ temporary liberty.