Sandigan Bayan
Sandigan Bayan

By: Vince F. Nonato – Reporter
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:19 PM August 16, 2017

It’s all because of a “change of heart.”

Melchor Maderazo, the former mayor and incumbent councilor of Caibiran, Biliran, has decided not to appeal his second graft conviction by the Sandiganbayan.

Former Mayor Melchor Don Maderazo
Former Mayor Melchor Don Maderazo

In a two-page motion dated Aug. 9, he told the court’s Third Division that he would serve his sentence of six to eight years in prison handed down in a June 29 verdict.

Thus, he asked to withdraw his July 18 motion for reconsideration of the decision.

“Accused Melchor Maderazo had a change of heart and [is] no longer interested to pursue his motion for reconsideration and wants to serve the sentence as embodied in the decision dated June 29, 2017,” read the motion filed through lawyer Rodolfo Tagapan Jr.

Maderazo was recently found guilty of illegally receiving P305,481.06 in back salaries and allowances for the period of September 2002 to September 2003, when he was under suspension.

This violated Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits public officials from causing undue injury to the government and giving unwarranted benefits to private parties.

The court applied the principle of “no work, no pay” since Maderazo’s suspension at the time for graft, grave misconduct and grave abuse of authority was never declared illegal.

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However, Maderazo asked the court to allow him to simultaneously serve this sentence and an earlier one for an unrelated offense.

Since Oct. 3, 2016, he has been incarcerated at the National Penitentiary, after the Sandiganbayan First Division on May 30, 2013 handed down a prison term of six to 10 years for graft.

The earlier conviction arose from an anomalous negotiated contract for 400 tapping saddles worth P160,000 in January 1998. The said tapping saddles, meant to be used for the municipal water system, were not actually delivered. The Supreme Court affirmed the verdict in a July 1, 2015 decision.

Although the two cases were not related, Maderazo said he should be “considered as serving his sentence regarding his conviction in the instant case.”

Besides the graft cases, the Sandiganbayan on Sept. 3, 2004 convicted him for unjust vexation for the forcible and violent ejection of a municipal market tenant whose stall was ordered padlocked in January 1997. This was affirmed by the Supreme Court on Sept. 26, 2006. But, the lesser offense resulted in a P200 fine. JPV – Philippine Daily Inquirer

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