A 90-day suspension pendente lite was meted by the Sandiganbayan against Bien Unido Vice Mayor Rene Borenaga and Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member Froilan Romo while they undergo a graft trial.
According to the Ombudsman, the accused municipal officials “hastily granted the privilege to an unregistered business entity controlled” by relatives of former Bien Unido mayor Nino Boniel who is now a 2nd district board member.
The vice mayor and the SB member also “arbitrarily rejected” the application of a cockpit owner, identified as Virginia Baruffol, to have her license to operate a cockpit renewed, said the Ombudsman.
Also facing trial for graft are Boniel, former Vice Mayor Petronilo Justiniane, Jr., former SB members Patricio Avenido, Eduardo Gentapa, Sotero Maacas, Jr., Rogelio Villarias, now Asst. Provincial Assessor and Alejo Boniel.
According to sources at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Boniel started serving his suspension last week.
Under the Local Government Code, the SB is empowered to authorize and license the establishment, operation and maintenance of cockpits. (Chito M. Visarra)