The Sandiganbayan has imposed a three-month suspension of incumbent mayor of Tagbina, Surigao del Sur for allegedly refusing to release the allowance of an employee.
The graft court slapped the suspension against Mayor Generoso Naraiso who is facing trial for allegedly violating Sec. 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019).
The mayor allegedly withheld the payment of the representation and transportation allowance of the municipal accountant from March 2015 to July 2015 despite the directive from the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
Sec. 13 of RA 3019 makes it mandatory for the court to suspend any incumbent public officer or employee facing any criminal prosecution under a valid information under the Act or under Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, or for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property, whether as a simple or as a complex offense, and in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending in court.
In a resolution, the Sandiganbayan reiterated its ministerial duty under Sec. 13 of R.A. No. 3019 that “the court trying a case has neither discretion nor duty to determine whether or not a preventive suspension is required to prevent the accused from using his office to intimidate witnesses or frustrate his prosecution or continue committing malfeasance in office. The presumption is that unless the accused is suspended, he may frustrate his prosecution or commit further acts of malfeasance or do both.”
Tagbina is a second class municipality in the province of Surigao del Sur. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 38,833 people.