Antique mayor suspended for 90 days

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The Sandiganbayan suspended Patnongon Mayor Johnny Flores Bacongallo of Antique province for 90 days for his involvement in the alleged anomalous purchase of a 40-ton rice mill worth P9.9-million in 2007.

The anti-graft court’s Third Division placed Bacongallo under preventive suspension during the pendency of an investigation against him and 10 others for violation of the anti-graft court law.

“The court finds that the said allegations properly impute fraud purportedly perpetrated by the accused against the government,” the resolution read.

The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has indicted Bacongallo, former congressman Exequiel Javier and nine other town officials for awarding a P9.9-million pork barrel-funded project to a private individual. (

They were charged with one count of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which is giving unwarranted advantage to a private party.

The nine other respondents are Councilors Felix Gregorio Barrientos, Gemma Cepeda, Thomas Bacaoco, Al Brian Crespo, Rene Philip Cayetano, Teopisto Estaris Jr. and Erika Orcasitas; former Patnongon Mayor Henry Mondejar and Greater Antique Development Cooperative board chair Efren Esclavilla.

In the resolution, the Sandiganbayan maintained the case information sheet was sufficient in form and substance to warrant the mayor’s 3-month suspension.