Sandiganbayan acquits NoCot guv of graft charge

The Sandiganbayan has cleared North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza of the graft charge filed against her several years ago.

The acquittal decision reached the camp of Gov. Mendoza on September 14.

The graft charge stemmed from an alleged anomalous procurement of fuel from a gas station owned by the governor’s mother.

Mendoza was charged for three counts of graft or violations of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Mendoza authorized the release of P2.4 million from the provincial funds to pay for 49,526.72 liters of fuel used for one road grader and four dump trucks utilized during the two-day road rehabilitation projects.

But no public bidding was allegedly conducted, and instead the provincial government directly contracted for fuel with the gas station owned by Mendoza’s mother.

Aside from the criminal liability, the acquittal also exonerated the Governor from any civil liability.

In a released statement, the office of Gov. Mendoza expressed its gratitude to the Sandiganbayan for their decision.

“It is well appreciated that the good justices of the Anti-graft court had remained true to their duty of upholding justice and fairness.This occasion is not only a victory for the Governor of Cotabato Province as her name has been cleared and redeemed from unfounded charges but foremost for the peoples’ faith in the fairness of our judicial system,” Mendoza’s office stated.

“The case dismissal is a manifestation that the present administration of Governor Mendoza is true to its mandate of delivering Serbisyong Totoo to its people in the Province with sincerity, integrity and accountability,” it added.

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