Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY- A former mayor in Biliran province was convicted by the Sandiganbayan for graft involving an amount of P160,000 for an alleged ghost project.

Found guilty by the first division of the Sandiganbayan was Melchor Maderazo who served as officer-in-charge mayor of Caibiran town.

Also convicted by the anti-graft court was former municipal accountant Dionesion Veruen Jr. Both were sentenced to six to 10 years imprisonment with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
The decision of the Sandiganbayan stemmed from a transaction involving the release of P160,000 which represented the cost of a project involving 400 pieces of tapping saddles (steel pipe connectors) that were not actually delivered.

The materials were supposed to be used for a water system project of the town.

The two were directed to pay the amount of P160,000 to the local government of Caibiran.

The Sandiganbayan, on its decision issued last May 30, held that the two defrauded the local government after the alleged contractor of the project,Artemio Vermug, testified that Maderazo forced him to sign a contract and endorse a check amounting to P160,000 but was not asked to do the actual work.

It also held that Maderazo could not have succeeded with the crime without the cooperation and participation of Veruen because they both signed the disbursement voucher, the Land Bank of the Philippine check and the false inspection report that was submitted as liquidation for the “ghost delivery” of the tapping saddles. (JOEY A. GABIETA)

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