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Retired general-turned-Tuguegarao mayor suspended over rubber boat mess

Nov 13, 2015 @ 12:35

Retired police general and now incumbent Tuguegarao City mayor Jefferson Soriano has been slapped with a 90-day suspension over his alleged involvement in the 2009 rubber boat scam in the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division handed down the suspension on Soriano after it junked the mayor’s appeal to credit the 130-day suspension he served from September 11 to April 16last year over a different case.

Along with other PNP officials, Soriano was charged with graft in 2013 for the procurement, without public bidding, of 20 defective rubber boats worth P4.54 million in 2009.

Soriano, who was then a police deputy director general, said in his motion that the Ombudsman dismissed him for grave misconduct before the court ordered his suspension, thus the latter was no longer implemented.

He appealed the Ombudsman’s dismissal to the Court of Appeals (CA) which held that he was guilty only of simple misconduct and orders his three-month suspension.

The CA also ordered that he be reinstated as city mayor since he was dismissed from September 11, 2014 until April 16, 2015.

Soriano then argued that the 130 days excess suspension he served should be credited or applied to satisfy the Sandiganbayan’s suspension order.

“The 130 days of excess suspension arising from an administrative case will have no effect whatsoever on the present case. Hence, the same cannot be credited to the suspension pendente lite ordered by this Court,” the Sandiganbayan ruled.

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