Ex-Viga, Catanduanes officials indicted in Sandiganbayan

NAGA CITY 5/30/17 (Bicol Standard) -- The former town officials of Viga, Catanduanes have been indicted over the purchase of a backhoe without the required public bidding.

Said backhoe was purchased for P13.95 million in 2005.

Among those charged are former mayor Jose Torres, vice-mayor Yolanda Tuquero, and councilors Lourdes del Rosario, Asuncion Odi, Rosario Mollasgo, Horacio Aquino Jr., Domingo Villanueva, Orbel Tonio, William Tuplano, Gomercindo Litong and Nerissa Usero.

They have allegedly violated Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Said section reads: "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 undue 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."