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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Court orders arrest of governor

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THE Sandiganbayan on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and two others for graft in connection with the alleged illegal disbursement of P480-million calamity funds for infrastructure projects in the province.

The anti-graft court’s order came after it found probable cause to try Degamo, Provincial Treasurer Danilo Mendez and Provincial Accountant Teodorico Reyes for graft for the violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act over the alleged illegal disbursement of calamity funds to repair structures damaged by natural calamities.

“[T]he absence or presence of the elements of the crime are evidentiary matters which ought to be established during the trial of the case,” the court said.

“It must be stressed… the court cannot rule at this early stage of the proceedings on the presence or absence of the elements of the crime charged,” the court said.

The accused officials denied the charges. 

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