The Sandiganbayan has affirmed its preventive suspension order against Quezon City Councilor Roderick Paulate pending the resolution of criminal cases leveled against him, in connection with his alleged hiring of 30 ghost employees in 2010.
The anti-graft court’s Seventh Division, in a resolution dated March 29, denied the motion for reconsideration of Paulate to set aside his 90-day suspension for lack of merit.
Paulate, who shot to fame as an actor and is running for vice mayor in the May elections, has remained unfazed over the new Sandiganbayan order.
Anette Cabalquinto, a staffer of the councilor, told the Manila Standard on Friday: “We understand your situation, but we do not want to distract the momentum of his campaign.”
She said Paulate went house-to-house to campaign yesterday.
Joyce Fernandez, a legislative staff assistant at the District 2 councilor’s office, said Paulate has not stopped meeting city residents to seek their support.
“He continues campaigning. He is well-received by the people,” she told the Standard.
Paulate, in his motion, said his suspension should have been done before his arraignment when he can still challenge the validity of the charges against him.
The anti-graft court’s March 11 resolution ordered Paulete “to cease and desist from further performing and/or exercising the functions, duties and privilege of his position as member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Quezon City.”
He was accused of ordering his chief of staff to prepare questionable Personal Data Sheets and falsified job orders of 30 contractual employees from July 1 to November 15, 2010.
In addition, Paulate allegedly issued certifications stating that these “employees” worked for 40 hours a week and authorized his driver and liaison officer, Vicente Esquilon Bajamunde, to collect their salaries in the sum of P1.1 million.