THE Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division has found former Siquijor Governor Orlando Fua Jr. “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” of obstruction of justice.
Fua was charged in 2014 with violation of Section 1(e) of Presidential Decree No. 1829.
The case stemmed from his alleged obstruction in 2010 of the service of a search warrant issued by a regional trial court against a suspect who was supposedly found in possession of “shabu.”
“It should be noted that what transpired was a normal police operation for the purpose of ensnaring drug personalities in the province. There are no matters that involved the province itself or an immediate concern that would require the actual intervention by the provincial governor himself. However, instead of keeping his hands off by simply acknowledging the search warrant validly issued by the court and allow the police officers to perform their task continuously, accused interfered by repeatedly challenging its validity and intervened in a legitimate police operation,” the Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division said in part in a 26-page decision promulgated on Friday (January 19).
The court fined Fua P6,000 and said that “in case of insolvency,” he “shall be required to undergo subsidiary imprisonment.”
“Accused Fua, Jr. shall also suffer the penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding any public office and to pay the costs,” the court added.
Associate Justice Zaldy Trespeses penned the ruling, which was concurred in by Associate Justice Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomes-Estoesta, who leads the Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division, and by Associate Justice Bayani Jacinto. MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO