Sandigan junks Cebu councilor motion for reconsideration

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by Allan Yves Briones

The Sandiganbayan 6th Division is not impressed as it bats away the motion filed by Bogo City Councilor Cresencio Verdida seeking to do away with his 90-day preventive suspension.

“After a restudy, the Court finds nothing new in the arguments raised by accused Verdida in his motion for reconsideration. Accordingly, the Motion for Reconsideration dated August 15, 2019 is denied for lack of merit,” the anti-graft court ruled in a brief resolution.

In his motion, the Cebu councilor argued that preventive suspension is not necessary because the prosecution has since rested its case, depriving him of any opportunity to frustrate or hamper the cases.

According to the court, there is no discussion regarding the imposition of the suspension as it is “mandatory.”

“Once the information is found to be sufficient in form and substance, the suspension pendente lite of the accused must follow as a matter of course,” the court added.

Verdida also alleged that the suspension has violated his security of tenure, and has effectively deprived him of the opportunity to perform the functions of his office.

However, the court disagrees.

“[W]hen a public official or employee is disciplined, the object sought is not his punishment, but the improvement of government service and the preservation of the public’s faith and confidence in the government,” the resolution read.

Verdida is facing charges in relation to the allegedly irregular disbursement of P20 million meant for agricultural programs to the municipality’s cooperative during his time as municipal accountant.

The funds were instead utilized through salary loans.

The resolution was written by Associate Justice Karl Miranda, concurred by Division Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez and Associate Justice Kevin Narce Vivero. #