Ex-Tawi-Tawi governor convicted, fined for violating code of conduct

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 22 2017 12:42 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2017 12:33 AM

MANILA - The Sandiganbayan 5th Division has convicted former Tawi-Tawi Governor Sadikul Adalla Sahali of violating the code of conduct for public officials after changing his plea to guilty, admitting the allegations against him.

Sahali filed a motion to amend his plea on Aug. 9, receiving no objection from the prosecution.

In 2015, the Ombudsman charged Sahali for violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees over filing a non-notarized Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) from 2007 to 2011 and for failing to sign his SALN for 2012.

He also failed to sign all 6 SALNs before the April 30 deadline for each year.

Because of his motion to change plea, Sahali was re-arraigned for the 6 cases and entered separate pleas of guilty to the 6 charges

The court, in its decision dated Aug. 18, explained that Sahali's admission of guilt freely and voluntarily meant that he understood the nature of the charges against him.

“Having pleaded guilty to the charges in the informations, accused is deemed to have admitted all the material facts alleged therein," read the decision signed by 5th Division chair Associate Justice Rafael Lagos, and division members Associate Justices Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega and Lorifel Pahimna.

The court ordered Sahali to pay a total of P30,000 fine, at P5,000 for each of the 6 cases.

The court also noted that since there was no civil liability involved, there is no award of damages to be ordered.