TUGUEGARAO CITY: The city mayor here has agreed to step down as a result of the 90-day preventive suspension imposed upon him by the Sandiganbayan.
Mayor Jefferson Soriano was suspended on October 13, 2013 because of the controversial helicopter purchase of the Philippine National Police (PNP) during his stint as deputy director general in 2009.
On January 10, the Sandi–ganbayan Associate Justice Roland Jurado signed the denial of the mayor’s appeal.
Besides Soriano, also charged as principal in the alleged scam were former first gentleman Mike Arroyo and former PNP Director General Jesus Versosa.
The PNP reportedly purchased brand new Raven II helicopters but they were discovered to be used. Arroyo, reportedly the owner of the alluded choppers, denied ownership.
In a statement, Soriano said he opted to immediately secure a copy of his suspension through his lawyer rather than wait for the order to be served.
“I respect the law and want to ease any brewing tensions and intrigues in the city hall,” said Soriano leading the conduct of a smooth transition of his office to his vice mayor.
Vice Mayor Engelbert Caronan will assume Soriano’s post during his preventive suspension.
“I am hoping to spend my suspension productively and would like personally to follow up my administration’s ongoing programs and projects with other government line agencies,” Soriano said