North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza on Friday said she has started serving her suspension upon receipt of the Sandiganbayan order on October 27.
In a statement issued by her lawyer, Vincent Paul Montejo, the governor said she has received the Sandiganbayan order and will voluntarily serve out her suspension. Mendoza supposedly has 15 days to file a motion to ask Sandiganbayan to reconsider the ruling.
"While Gov. Mendoza maintains that the charges of graft filed against her have no basis, in deference to the Sandiganbayan, she has chosen to voluntarily serve out her suspension," Montejo's statement read.
Vice Gov. Gregorio Ipong will temporarily sit as North Cotabato governor for the next three months.
The Sandiganbayan on Thursday ordered the 90-day preventive suspension of Mendoza over a pending graft case connected to a fuel purchase worth over P2.4 million. The anti-graft court said Mendoza's suspension is mandatory under the Anti-Graft Law.
The case stemmed from the provincial government's purchase of diesel from a gas station owned by Mendoza's mother.
The governor allegedly approved the purchase of 49,526.72 liters of diesel from Shell stations in Carmen, North Cotabato and in Barangay Lanao, Kidapawan City during her first term in 2010.
Both gas stations are owned by the governor's mother, Noemi Taliño.
The diesel was supposedly used to fuel one road grader and four dump trucks for two-day road rehabilitation projects.