Sandiganbayan convicts former Bulacan town mayor of graft

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 8) — The Sandiganbayan found former Baliuag City, Bulacan mayor Carolina Dellosa guilty of graft for approving the purchase of an SUV worth ₱1 million.

According to the decision of Sandiganbayan 3rd division promulgated on March 3, Dellosa gave “unwarranted benefits” to Freeway Motor Sales of Baliuag Corporation “by approving an award in its favor of the contract for the procurement of one unit” of a Mitsubishi Active Sports Crossover.

Based on the disbursement voucher presented by the prosecution, the vehicle cost ₱1.198 million.

“The BAC (Bids and Awards Committee) resolution approved by accused Dellosa already indicated and specified the Mitsubishi brand, instead of the technical specifications of a vehicle,” the court said.

Defending herself, Dellosa said she could not recall approving the procurement in 2014 and denied her signatures in the BAC resolution and other supporting documents.

She said as a neophyte mayor then, she relied on her municipal administrator Christopher Rivera whom she described as one who has been involved in illegal acts such as taking money from contractors.

“The foregoing circumstance lead the court to the conclusion that accused Dellosa signed and approved the questioned procurement documents,” the court said.

Dellosa was sentenced to six to eight years imprisonment and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Ronald Moreno, with the concurrence of Division Chairperson and Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez.