Sandigan orders 90-day suspension of Carcar vice mayor


Carcar City Vice Mayor Mario Patricio Barcenas has been suspended for 90 days by the Sandiganbayan 17th Division for his alleged involvement in the controversial fertilizer fund scam.

The Freeman reported that the suspension order against Barcenas was issued by Associate Justice Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta after his arraignment on the criminal case for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Section 13 of the anti-graft law states that mandatory preventive suspension shall be imposed on any public officer charged with violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019.

“Accused was arraigned and pleaded not guilty under valid Information for violation of Section 3 (e) of R.A. 3019. Section 13, makes it mandatory for this Court to suspend any public officer against whom a valid information is filed charging a violation of said law, Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, or for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property,” the Order stated.

The politiko’s case stemmed from his procurement of 166 liters of foliar liquid fertilizer worth P239,040 in 2011 through direct purchase from M.M. Castillo General Merchandise.

According to him, direct purchase is allowed under Section 50 of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

“No actual injury was caused because the purchase of the fertilizers was not a ghost project, nor was there incomplete delivery of the same. All 166 liters of foliar fertilizers were delivered to the intended beneficiaries, and duly accounted for,” said Barcenas.

The court, however, said the matter would have been better ventilated had the official filed a motion for bill of particulars.