Gov. Lee suspended for 90 days by Sandiganbayan

Sorsogon Governor Raul Lee
Sorsogon Governor Raul Lee
“We will seek all available legal remedies. We are firm on our stand amidst the suspension order. The order is not ipso facto operative and executory. There are certain procedures provided under the law before it can be implemented.”

This is what the office the governor said in an interview by BICOL STANDARD regarding the resolution issued by the Sandiganbayan, which ordered the suspension for ninety (90) days of Governor Raul Lee.

The suspension stemmed from a complaint filed with the Ombudsman back in 2003, which took six (6) years for the investigation body to find probable cause.

The records show that by 2009 the Sandiganbayan took cognizance of the case for violation of Section 3 (e) and (g) of Republic Act 3019, as amended.

RA 3019, The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act reads:

Sec 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful;

(e) Causing any public injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.

(g) Entering on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer or will profit thereby.

“It is not my end with the issuance of the resolution. Clearly the order implies a finality of their ruling which means that the courts first division is waiting for my appeal,” Gov. Lee said.

“That is in their level and I can still file a certiorari at the Supreme Court if ever the Sandiganbayan denies my motion” he added.

Meanwhile, responding to the criticisms hurled by his political detractors, the governor said that it is only the court that can determine the date of serving a suspension order. He challenged his political rivals to speak the truth, instead of maliciously omitting the exact dispositive portion of the resolution.

In the dispositive portion it reads:

“WHEREFORE, premises considered, the accused RAUL R. LEE’s second Motion to Quash or to dismiss the above-captioned cases, it DENIED, and Plaintiff’s Motion to Suspend Accused RAUL R. LEE from his position as Governor of the Province of Sorsogon, and from any public office he may now or hereafter be for the period of ninety (90) days effective upon notice.”

“Let copy of this Resolution be furnished the Secretary of the Department of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) who is directed to implement this Order. Upon notice of the finality of this ruling.”

The said order was penned by Associate Justice Rafael Lagos, Efren de la Cruz and Rodolfo Ponferrada of the Sandiganbayan First Division last January 14.