Sandiganbayan suspends Lucban mayor for 90 days
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan ordered the suspension of Mayor Celso Olivier Dator of Lucban, Quezon, in relation to a pending graft case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman.
The anti-graft court's 4th Division issued a 90-day preventive suspension order dated February 18 against Dator, who earlier questioned the validity of his indictment.
"The court finds no merit in the contentions of the accused. The pendency of the accused's petition for certiorari...does not by itself merit a suspension of the proceedings," the court said in a 3-page resolution penend by Associate Justice Alex Quiroz.
The case against Dator stems from his decision to hire his own sister as Lucban's chief administration officer and later as municipal administrator without passing through the Sangguniang Bayan.
The Local Government Code mandates that appointment papers be submitted to the Sangguniang Bayan.
According to prosecutors, Dator's move showed partiality as his sister "was not qualified for the position."
The mayor will not be receiving any salary, benefits, and other privileges during the 90 days he is suspended. – Rappler.com