Sandiganbayan slaps 90-day preventive suspension on MinDa director
The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division has ordered the 90-day suspension ‘pendente lite’ of Director IV Charlita Andales Escaño from the Office of Finance and Administrative Services of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in Davao City in the light of her pending graft charge.Sandiganbayan (MANILA BULLETIN) She was slapped with a violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for taking her husband, engineer Alan S. Escaño, along on a seminar last March 16 to 20, 2015. Her husband was not an employee of MinDA, and yet she took him with her to the Basic Occupational Safety and Health Course for Construction Site Officers seminar held at the Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases, Davao City in lieu of engineer Renato Buhat, Jr. In her compliance dated Sept. 12, 2019, Escaño said all the documentary evidence needed by the prosecution was already in its possession as it had already marked its evidence during pre-trial. Since the prosecution had already terminated the presentation of its evidence last September, there are no more prosecution witnesses that could be harassed or intimidated by her. However, the anti-graft court saw no merit in the arguments of Escaño. “It is well-settled that preventive suspension under Section 13 of R.A. 3019 is mandatory,” the court said. Section 13 of R.A. 3019 applies to “any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information… is pending in court.” Since Escaño is an incumbent official, and she is facing a graft charge that is “sufficient in form and substance,” the anti-graft court ruled that her preventive suspension is a matter of course. “Verily, the conditions for preventive suspension have been satisfied and the Court is duty-bound to issue the order of suspension against accused as a matter of course.” The four-page resolution was penned by Associate Justice Kevin Narce Vivero with the concurrence of Sixth Division Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez and Associate Justice Karl Miranda. Related Posts Read more: Manila Bulletin News
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