MANILA — The Sandiganbayan has convicted Narra, Palawan Mayor Lucena Demaala of 14 counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The anti-graft court found Demaala guilty of conflict of interest for her stamp of approval on transactions entered into by the municipality with a business owned by her daughter.
The Sandiganbayan sentenced the Palawan town mayor to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of six to 10 years for each count.
Records showed that in 2000, Demaala procured office supplies and printing services worth PHP93,521 from ADB Trading and Services, a business owned by her daughter, Arlene Barquilla Cabando.
“[The] evidence indubitably show that, in her official capacity as the mayor of Narra, Palawan, the accused took part in the transactions of the municipality with ADB Trading and Services, by approving all of the disbursement vouchers for the payment of the supplies, materials, and Risograph printing to ADB Trading; and, that the accused had an indirect pecuniary interest in ADB Trading, the same being owned by her daughter,” the anti-graft court’s ruling read.
Under Section 3(h) of Republic Act No. 3019, government officials and employees are prohibited from directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract, or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.