The Sandiganbayan on Wednesday convicted two former mayors for graft in connection with the questionable purchase of a property, and the illegal approval of quarrying contracts, respectively.
The anti-graft court found former San Jose, Occidental Mindoro mayor Jose Villarosa "guilty beyond reasonable doubt of nine counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act."
In a 20-page decision penned by Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz,
the court said Villarosa acted in bad faith when he issued nine sand quarrying permits to GEM CHB Maker, Timoteo Aguilar, Arvi Dolojan, Andres Pablo, R.D. Go Concrete Products, Jojo Pojas, Emilia De Lara, Antonio Villaroza and Jessie Glass and Aluminum Enterprise.
"He had no right to issue the subject extraction permits. He not only stubbornly defied the same but also insistently refused to acknowledge the right of the Provincial Governor to issue such extraction permits that are expressly and exclusively granted to the latter by the Local Government Code," the Decision stated.
Villarosa was sentenced to six to ten years in prison for each count, and was also perpetually barred from holding public office.
In a separate decision, former Borongan, Eastern Samar mayor Fidel Anacta Jr. "was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt" for graft after he purchased a lot that was priced 100 times more than its original value.
Anacta bought a 16,426 square meter private lot for P8.21 million in 2003 to expand the municipality's memorial park, but prosecutors were able to prove that "the price was grossly disadvantageous as it was exorbitant considering that its market value is only P58,197," the Sandiganbayan said.
It was unlawful for Anacta to disburse the initial payment to the property owner without vesting title to the Municipality of Borongan, the court said.
The Sangguniang Bayan also did not authorize Anacta's purchase, the court added.
Anacta was sentenced to imprisonment ranging from six years to 10 years with the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office.