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Ex-Cebu mayor found guilty of corruption

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The Sandiganbayan 7th Division found former Daanbantayan mayor Ma. Luisa Loot of Cebu province and a former councilor of the town guilty beyond reasonable doubt of corruption and malversation of public funds over an unauthorized and unpaid P500,000 loan for a quail egg farming operation.

In a decision dated August 2, 2019, the anti-graft court meted out to Loot and ex-councilor Samuel Punay Moralde the penalties of imprisonment and perpetual disqualification from public office.

The loan, which was granted on February 28, 2007 to RBA Quail Raisers Association of which Moralde was chairman, has remained unpaid. (https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1818324)

The Sandiganbayan ordered the accused to jointly indemnify the town the amount of P500,000.

In 2007, Loot entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with RBA for a loan of P500,000. The MOA was found deficient and invalid because RBA was not accredited yet as a non-government organization when it was signed.

The certificate of accreditation only came a year after.

Under the terms of the loan, RBA had a monthly amortization of P41,667 for three years, from January 2008 to January 2011. Not a single centavo, however, had been paid.

Moralde explained he lost the business to typhoon Frank that hit northern Cebu and other parts of the Philippines on June 18 to 23, 2008.