Pangasinan mayor posts bail over graft case

MANILA — Pozorrubio, Pangasinan Mayor Artemio Chan on Monday posted bail before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) for the graft case filed against him by a couple who accused him of ordering a municipal worker to solemnize their civil in 2016.

Aside from Chan, his co-accused Daniel Sarmiento Jr., a municipal employee of Pozorrubio, Pangasinan, also posted bail.

Both accused posted a PHP30,000 bail bond each for their temporary liberty while their case is being heard by the Quezon City RTC.

The case against Chan and Sarmiento stemmed from the charges filed by couple Ly-Ar Punzalan and Cherilyn Buyao before the Office of the Ombudsman for grave misconduct and serious dishonesty.

The complaint accused the town mayor of ordering Sarmiento to officiate or solemnize the civil wedding ceremony of the couple in Mar. 14, 2016. After the ceremony, records showed that Chan signed the marriage certificate of the couple.

In the decision signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales in 2016, the anti-graft body ordered the dismissal from the service of Chan who appealed the ruling of the Ombudsman before the Court of Appeals.

Aside from the graft case, Chan is also facing criminal complaints such as falsification of public documents and usurpation of official function filed by the couples Guadencio Torralba Jr. and Rachelle Legaspi; and Larry Alutaya and Ryzzamae Quinto also for alleged graft.

The Quezon City court set the hearing on July 13, 2018.