The 3rd Division of the Sandiganbayan yesterday acquitted Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, along with provincial accountant Teodorico Reyes and former provincial treasurer Danilo Mendez, of graft charges for the alleged illegal use of the province’s calamity funds.
Capitol Public Information Officer Bimbo Miraflor said the promulgation of judgment was done virtually with the governor listening to the proceedings.
The case stemmed from the alleged illegal use of some P480-million calamity fund intended for the repair, rehabilitation, and construction of structures following the onslaught of Typhoon Sendong in late 2011, and the magnitude 6.9 earthquake in early 2012 that left a trail of devastation.
In 2016, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio found probable cause to charge Degamo and the two other officials for 11 counts of malversation and one count for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Degamo and the two other officials were charged with the violations after they proceeded with the awarding of infrastructure contracts even though they allegedly failed to comply with the government’s requirements for the projects.*PNA