THE Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division convicted former Nueva Ecija governor Tomas Joson 3rd and two other former mayors of graft and sentenced them to up to 10 years in prison.
In a decision promulgated on July 26 but released only on Monday, the court found ex-governor Joson and ex-Quezon mayor Basilio Joson guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in case no. SB-11-CRM-0205, which involved the donation of a mobile clinic, a Toyota Revo, a Ford F150, and a Nissan Urvan in 2007.
The court also found ex-governor Joson and ex-mayor Amelia Gamilla guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(e) of the anti-graft law in case no. SB-11-CRM-0206, which involved the donation of a Nissan Terrano and a Ford Expedition. It also found ex-governor Joson and Gamilla guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(g) of the anti-graft law in case no. SB-11-CRM-0208.
“No matter how the discretion of the Provincial Governor as head of the LGU is invoked, it is undeniable that basic rules and procedure on the disposal of property, as provided in RA 7160 and its implementing rules, tainted the donations in question,” the court said in part.
LGU is local government unit. Republic Act (RA) 7160 is the Local Government Code of 1991.
It sentenced ex-governor Joson and ex-mayor Gamilla to six years and a month up to 10 years in prison with perpetual disqualification to hold public office, in case nos. SB-11-CRM-0206 and SB-11-CRM-0208.
The court acquitted the Josons of the charge of violation of Section 3(g) of the anti-graft law in case no. SB-11-CRM-0207. REINA C. TOLENTINO