Sandigan sentences former Panglao mayor for graft

By Marisol Bo-oc | 03:29 PM October 27, 2022

MANILA – The Sandiganbayan has convicted a former Panglao town mayor on graft charges and sentenced her up to 24 years in prison and ordered to pay P1. 3 million to the municipal government for unlawful appointments of consultants in 2013.

The anti-graft court 6th Division, in its decision dated Oct. 26, found former Panglao mayor and now councilor Leonila Montero guilty beyond reasonable doubt of four counts of Violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019.

“For each count, she is accordingly sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of imprisonment of six (6) years and one (1) month, as minimum, to ten (10) years, as maximum, with perpetual disqualification to hold public office,” the Sandiganbayan said.

The hold departure order issued on June 29, 2018 is maintained despite the acquittal of the accused from the crime of unlawful Appointments.

Montero is ordered to return the amount of One Million Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 1,300,000.00) to the municipality of Panglao representing the salaries paid to four consultants during the one-year appointment ban, with 6% legal interest reckoned from the finality of the Decision.

In July 2013, Montero appointed four losing candidates in the 2013 elections as consultants earning P25,000.00 per month.  Records showed that Montero hired Noel Homarchuelos as municipal administrator/consultant for administrative services; Danilo Reyes as public information consultant; Apolinar Fudalan as Public Employment Service Office Coordinator/IT consultant; and Fernando Penales as infrastructure/engineering consultant.  

The consultants were hired on a job order basis to serve the mayor without executing any contract of service or issuance of any appointment paper duly reviewed and approved by the Sangguniang Bayan.

The Bohol Island News tried but failed to reach Montero for comment. She did not immediately reply to a text message or calls seeking comment.

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