MANILA - The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division has found former Daet Mayor Tito Sarion guilty of graft and malversation of public funds for a P1-million payment to a private contractor for the construction of a public market without proper approval.
Sarion was sentenced to 6 to 8 years in jail for graft and 2 to 4 years and a fine of P1 million for malversation. He was also ordered to pay the Municipality of Daet the actual damages he had caused.
“Accused Sarion shall indemnify the Municipality of Daet the amount of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) as actual damages, plus interest at the rate of 6% per annum to be reckoned from the date of finality of the Decision until its full satisfaction,” the court said in the decision penned by Associate Justice Sarah Jane Fernandez, with the concurrence of Presiding Justice and division chairperson Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez.
The Ombudsman had alleged that on April 24, 2008, Sarion allowed the payment of P1 million to Markbilt Construction as partial payment for price escalation on construction costs without approval from the Government Procurement Policy Board and the National Economic Development Authority.
The court found Sarion guilty of malversation because of his approval of the fees and for signing a voucher and a check even if Marbilt was not entitled to a payment for price escalation.
Sarion was also found guilty of graft after causing undue injury to the Municipality of Daet.