Negros Oriental governor posts bail for calamity fund case

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2017 05:23 PM

Re-elected Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on Thursday paid a total of P1.115-million bail for his case of graft and malversation of calamity funds through falsification. 

Degamo's co-accused Provincial Treasurer Danilo Mendez and Provincial Accountant Teodorico Reyes have also posted respective bail bonds.

The charges stemmed from a P480.7-million Special Allotment and Release Order (SARO) that Degamo requested in 2012 for the rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure projects in Negros Oriental. 

During that time, the province had yet to recover from the devastation of Typhoon Sendong and a magnitude 6.9 earthquake.

Degamo allegedly continued to disburse funds to contractors despite the Department of Budget and Management's withdrawal of the SARO for non-compliance with guidelines for infrastructure projects.

Degamo's cases originally had a P2.23-million recommended bail bond. However, it was reduced to half after the Sandiganbayan granted his request for reduction of bail.

The governor voluntarily surrendered to the Sandiganbayan sheriff on Friday morning, following the release of his arrest warrant last January 24. 

Degamo was adamant that the funds were legally spent. He also insisted, the charges were politically motivated.

"Talaga namang legal ang paggamit ng pondo," Degamo said.
"Ang tao naman hindi naniniwala na ginamit ang pondo for personal interest e."