The Sandiganbayan suspended for 90 days Rep. Paulino Salvador Leachon of Oriental Mindoro pending resolution of the graft charges filed against him.
Also suspended by the anti-graft court’s Fourth Division was Calapan City Engineer Benjamin Acedera.
The court dismissed Leachon’s contention that his suspension should be held in abeyance while the Supreme Court is deliberating on his petition challenging the finding of probable cause against him and the validity of the complaint.
“The Court affirms the validity of the information, for which both accused were already arraigned, and consequently, the propriety of suspending accused Leachon and Acedera from office pendente lite pursuant to Section 13 of R.A. No. 3019 is in order,” the Sandiganbayan said.
It stressed that the high tribunal has not issued a temporary restraining order and had denied Leachon’s petition last November.
With his suspension, Leachon is barred from performing his duties as a lawmaker. He will also not receive his salaries, benefits, and other privileges as a congressman.
Leachon and Acedera were accused of giving unwarranted preference to private individual Juan Viñas by allowing him to use five dump trucks for free when the lawmaker was the mayor of Calapan City. Acedera was then the barangay captain of Guinobatan.
They were charged before the Sandiganbayan in 2011.