Bataan town mayor suspended over high land appraisal case

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2019 12:40 PM

MANILA - The Sandiganbayan 6th Division has placed Limay, Bataan Mayor Nelson David on 90-day preventive suspension as his graft case involving the irregular appraisal of lots owned by his sons goes to trial.

A July 25 resolution of the anti-graft court ordered David to temporarily vacate his post, a standard procedure for accused officials who may use their power for their advantage.

The court noted that preventive suspensions of sitting officials are mandatory under Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as Supreme Court decisions.

“Accused Nelson David is ordered to cease and desist from further performing and/or exercising the functions, duties, and privileges of his position upon the implementation of this order of preventive suspension,” the court said in the resolution penned by Associate Justice Karl Miranda, with the concurrence of Division Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez and Associate Justice Kevin Narce Vivero.

The case of David stemmed from the “extraordinary” increase in the market value of lots owned by his sons Richie Jayson and Christian Ryan and eventually acquired by the municipality at the price of P10.180 million in 2002.

The court noted in its resolution that it did not find merit in the arguments of David when asked to show cause why he should not be suspended.

David stressed that before winning the 2019 elections, he has not been the mayor of Limay for almost a decade, which makes it impossible for him to influence witnesses nor tamper documentary evidence.

A copy of the suspension was ordered to be sent to the Department of the Interior and Local Government for implementation.

The court also noted that the suspension will be automatically lifted upon the expiration of the 90-day period from the implementation of the resolution.