NCotabato governor acquitted of graft
THE first division of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has acquitted Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza of North Cotabato of graft charges over alleged anomalous purchase orders of fuel in 2010.
“Wherefore, in view of the foregoing, this court finds accused Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza not guilty of violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019…as the act of omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist, no civil liability may be assessed against [the] accused,” a portion of the decision promulgated on September 14 stated.
Section 3(e) of RA 3019 or the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act prohibits a public official from giving unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to any party or causing any party, including the government, undue injury.
In 2016, the reelectionist governor pleaded “not guilty” to charges the Office of the Ombudsman filed alleging that fuel worth P2.4 million was bought from a gasoline station owned by her mother.
Mendoza allegedly awarded the contract to Taliño Shell Station without calling for a public bidding when she used the amount to pay for 49,526.72 liters of fuel for a government road project.
She previously served a 90- day suspension the Sandiganbayan ordered despite maintaining that the graft charges had no basis.
However, in a 35-page resolution, the prosecution stated that it was “unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that [Mendoza] took advantage of her official position” when she signed the purchase orders and instead allowed procurement of the fuel upon the recommendation of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC).
“It could then be concluded that accused did not give unwarranted benefit to the Taliño Shell Station at the BAC, the accused followed the same procedure or process for projects requiring fuel in the implementation,” the order stated.