Sandiganbayan acquits mayor of graft charges

BACOLOD City – The Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division has acquitted Mayor John Rey Tabujara of Cauayan, Negros Occ. of violation of Section 3 of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti- Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).

In a 32- page decision dated September 7, 2018, the anti-graft court acquitted Tabujara for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The case stemmed from the complaint of MayJoy Magbanua, then a municipal health office nurse of Cauayan in 2010, who was ordered by Tabujara to be transferred from Cauayan District Hospital to Barangay Talacdan, which was 30 to 40 kilometers away from her residence.

Tabujara ordered the transfer due to the outbreak of dengue fever, among other illneses, that swept through Talacdan, afflicting 20 people and resulting in two persons dead.

Magbanua cried foul at being handed a new assignment and appealed the same with the Civil Service Commission.

Magana cried foul at being handed a new assignment and appealed the same to the CSC, the decision said.

During the pendency of Magbanua’s appeal at the CSC, she alleged and accused that Tabujara unlawfully neglected to hold in abeyance her reassignment contrary to CSC Memorandum Circular No 9 series of 2010.

This spurred the filing of the complaint against the accused, which also led to Tabujara’s indictment.

The Sandiganbayan decision emphasized the absence of sufficient evidence that Tabujara unjustifiably held in abeyance the implementation of the order of reassignment of Magbanua.

The Sandiganbayan also ordered the lifting of the hold departure order issued against Tabujara and the release of his cash bond amounting to P50,000.

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