DILG yet to serve suspension order vs Umali

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has yet to serve the Sandiganbayan’s suspension order against Governor Alfonso V. Umali Jr.

“Wala pang suspensyon na nangyayari at nananatili pa ring gobernador si Gobernador Alfonso V. Umali, Jr. hanggang sa kasalukuyan,” said DILG Provincial Director Arnulfo Bautista.

Bautista said his office will be the one to serve the preventive suspension order issued by the anti-graft court’s Fourth Division last month in connection with a P2.5 million loan contract he forged with a private shipowner during the term of former Governor Rodolfo Valencia.

Bautista said he has yet to receive the suspension order.

Umali has said he would abide by the Sandiganbayan order even as his lawyer filed an Omnibus Motion asking the special antigraft court to review its decision to suspend the staunch ally of President Benigno Aquino.

Umali, together with now Representative Valencia, was found guilty of misusing public funds in 1994 when they forged a P2.5 million loan contract with ship owner Alfredo Atienza that the court found to be “grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the government.” Valencia was Oriental Mindoro’s governor then while Umali was the provincial administrator.

The two, along with Atienza, then vice governor Pedrito Reyes and provincial board members Jose Enriquez and Jose Leynes, were sentenced in September 2008 to imprisonment of up to 10 years. All the provincial officials were barred from holding public office.

The officials had argued that the provincial assistance was made to help Atienza repair and maintain the roll-on roll-off vessel MV Ace, which was to ply the Calapan-Batangas route.

They said that the vessel was used by the province in the aftermath of four strong typhoons that hit Oriental Mindoro in 1993.

The Sandiganbayan in 2009 agreed to retry the case and last January 7 it issued a resolution ordering Umali’s 90-day preventive suspension.

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