Negros mayor charged with graft over cockpit


The Office of the Ombudsman has filed graft charges before the Sandiganbayan against Mayor Nelson Ruiz of San Jose, Negros Oriental in connection with the issuance of a license to operate a cockpit in 2009.

In two separate charge sheets approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and filed on August 26, Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III Jose Ronald Bersales accused Ruiz of violating Sections 3(d) and 3(h) of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The charge sheets said Ruiz allegedly allowed his daughter “to accept employment as cashier in the cockpit business of one Felix Ramirez, who, at the time, had an application for the issuance of a license to operate a cockpit at Barangay Cancawas of the said Municipality of San Jose with the accused, to which accused thereafter issued such license to operate a cockpit to one Felix Ramirez.”

The mayor also allegedly issued the license to operate “despite having direct or indirect financial or pecuniary interest in the said cockpit of one Felix Ramirez being the lessor for a fee of the lot wherein the said cockpit is situated, which financial or pecuniary interest of respondent in the said cockpit is prohibited … in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.”

RA 7160 is the Local Government Code while RA 6713 is the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.



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