Ex-Bukidnon town mayor sentenced to 8 years in jail for graft

MANILA — The Sandiganbayan has sentenced a former mayor of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon to up to eight years in prison for approving salary increases for his relative employed in the municipal government without a legal basis.

In a 45-page decision dated October 25, the anti-graft court’s Sixth Division through Associate Justice Kevin Narce B. Vivero found Rogelio Narvasa Quino guilty and sentenced him to imprisonment of between six to eight years.

He was also perpetually disqualified from public office.

In the absence of proof of conspiracy, the relative of the mayor who benefited from the increase, municipal shop foreman Antonio Narvasa Quino and municipal budget officer Cecilia Quino-Rejas were acquitted by the court.

Through certifications signed by Quino, the shop foreman, who was hired with a corresponding pay equivalent to Salary Grade (SG) 11 in 2008, received compensation equivalent to SG 18 by 2012.

Associate Justices Sarah Jane T. Fernandez and Karl B. Miranda concurred.

“From the Court’s standpoint, the negligence displayed by accused Mayor Quino and the breach of duty committed were of such nature and degree so as to be considered brazen, flagrant and palpable. The negligence committed by Mayor Quino is both gross and inexcusable,” the court said.

“The defense of accused Mayor Quino that the increase in the salary grade of Antonio is in line with the policy of the State to provide equal pay for substantially equal work is flawed at best. Mayor Quino could have increased Antonio’s salary while complying with the Local Government Code”. Benjamin Pulta/PNA- northboundasia.com