visayas.politics.com.ph

Sandiganbayan nails former Nueva Vizcaya exec for graft

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by Allan Yves Briones

Former acting provincial administrator Manuel Nilves Tabora of Nueva Vizcaya will be headed to jail after the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division denied his motion for partial reconsideration.

In an eight-page resolution, Division Chairperson Rafael Lagos affirmed the anti-graft court’s earlier ruling holding Tabora guilty of violating Section 3 (c) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for receiving money in exchange for providing personal services.

In 2011, Tabora came under fire for allegedly receiving P250,000 for his assistance in securing several permit including the Ore Transport Permit and the Mineral Ore Expert Permit, which are under the purview of the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board.

In his motion for partial reconsideration, Tabora pleaded with the court to reverse its May 17 ruling due to his defense’s “factual and legal basis.”

However, the anti-graft court found that Tabora did not even mention these alleged basis in his motion.

“The Court is not swayed by such a generic and unsubstantiated assertion,” the resolution read.

RA No. 3019 prohibits, among other things, public officials from requesting or receiving gifts in consideration for providing government services – including a P250,000 bribe for permit.

“The same money was the ‘poisonous’ fruit of Tabora’s illicit conduct, prescribed and penalized under the anti-graft law,” the resolution read.

For his crime, the anti-graft court sentenced Tabora to a minimum of six years in prison, as well as the payment of the same P250,000 with interest.

Also undersigned in the resolution are Associate Justices Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega and Maryann Corpus-Mañalac.