MANILA, Philippines - The Sandiganbayan has issued hold departure orders against Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia in connection with the allegedly anomalous purchase of a P98.92 million property in Naga, Cebu in 2008.
Associate Justices Teresita V. Diaz-Baldos, Napoleon Inoturan and Oscar C. Herrera Jr. directed the Bureau of Immigration to prevent Garcia from leaving the country sans a clearance from the court.
The Office of the Ombudsman earlier found probable cause against Garcia and several other respondents for two counts of graft and one count of technical malversation.
A composite team from the Ombudsman's Fact-Finding panel and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) found that 19.67 hectares of the area, located in the Tiga-an town, was under seawater.
The other defendants are: Juan V. Bolo, provincial appraisal committee chairman and provincial assessor Anthony D. Sususco, provincial treasurer Roy G. Salubre, OIC provincial engineer Eulogio B. Pelayre, provincial budget officer Emme T. Gingoyon and private individuals Amparo and Romeo Balili.