• CA issues TRO against Negros gov’s suspension

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    BACOLOD CITY: The Court of Appeals (CA) has granted a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) against the suspension of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo after the Ombudsman indicted on 11 counts of graft case or allegedly illegal disbursement of P480 million in calamity funds in 2012.

    The TRO is the second for Degamo after he was issued one last January in connection with the same case filed by the Ombudsman.

    Degamo insisted that he is still the governor of Negros Oriental because the Department of the Interior and Local Government has not served the order dismissing him.

    The case stemmed from Degamo’s request for assistance to repair damaged infrastructure after Typhoon Sendong hit the province in December 2011 and the 6.9 magnitude earthquake in February 2012.

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) immediately released P480.7 million to the provincial government the Special Allotment and Release Order (SARO) for which was later withdrawn for non-compliance with guidelines for infrastructure projects.

    According to preliminary investigation of the Ombudsman, a negative SARO means that projects funded by the release are no longer supported by appropriation and allotment.

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