The Sandiganbayan’s Special Third Division ordered the arrest of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and two others after graft and malversation charges were filed against them in connection with the allegedly illegal disbursement of calamity funds in 2012.
Degamo is facing 11 counts of malversation through falsification of public documents and a graft case.
Also ordered arrested were Provincial Treasurer Danilo Mendez and Provincial Accountant Teodorico Reyes.
The graft court resolution stated, “Wherefore, the court finds the existence of probable cause against the accused-movants Roel Ragay Degamo, Danilo Cual Mendez and Teodorico Guevara Reyes in these cases. Accordingly, let warrants of arrest be issued against them.”
The court recommended P200,000 bail for each of the 11 counts of malversation or a total of P2.23 million and P30,000 for graft.
The cases stemmed from Degamo’s alleged failure to comply with guidelines for implementation of infrastructure projects supposedly to rehabilitate damaged structures as a result of Typhoon Sendong in 2011 and an earthquake in February 2012.
Upon Degamo’s request, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued a Special Allotment Release Order (Saro) worth P961.5 million in June 2012, out of which P480.7 million was immediately released to the provincial government.
The Saro is a document which, when obligated by the DBM, leads to the issuance of a Notice of Cash Allocation that authorizes the release of funds for the projects.
A few days after the issuance of the Saro, the DBM informed Degamo that it was being withdrawn because the province failed to comply with guidelines for the infrastructure projects.
Instead of complying, however, “respondents unilaterally ignored the DBM’s directive and continued to award 11 infrastructure projects,” the Ombudsman said.