THE Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division has ordered former Kibawe, Bukidnon Municipal Mayor Luciano Ligan and three other former officials to pay a fine after finding them guilty of diverting funds for tourism activities.
Also penalized with Ligan were former municipal treasurer Ma. Asuncion Codilla, budget officer Narciso Chaves Jr. and former municipal accountant Ellen Piquero, all convicted of technical malversation under Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
The anti-graft court ordered the four officials to pay P13,313.90 each, equivalent to 5 percent of P266,277.94 that is part of the appropriated amount.
The officials were charged for using the P500,000 appropriated for Tourism Activities/Kaamulan festival in the construction of the Tourism Function Hall in 2003.
Article 220 of the RPC punishes a public officer who shall apply any public fund or property under his administration to any public use other than that for which said fund or property was appropriated by law or ordinance.
“Since no such damage or embarrassment to the public service has been proven, the imposable penalty is a fine from five to 50 percent of the sum misapplied. This court finds it fair to impose a penalty of fine equivalent to five percent of P266,277.94 on each of accused Ligan, Codilla, Chaves and Piquero.”
Meanwhile, the court acquitted former former Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Crestito Dones Jr. and former Municipal Engineer Edgar Mulat, having found no reasonable ground to convict them.