MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division on Tuesday, February 21, found no merit in the motion for reconsideration filed by former mayor Leonila Montero of Panglao, Bohol, to reverse her conviction on four counts of graft.
On October 26, 2022, the anti-graft court sentenced Montero to 24 years imprisonment over her hiring of four losing candidates in the 2013 elections as consultants.
Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act prohibits hiring losing candidates within a year after the elections.
The former mayor hired the four losing candidates on a job-order basis, and paid them P25,000 each every month, according to the 2018 indictments.
Aside from violating the one-year ban on hiring losing candidates, the hiring of the four consultants didn’t have the approval of the municipal council and was not covered by any service contract, the prosecutors said.
Montero said she thought the Department of the Interior and Local Government allowed the hiring of losing candidates save if they were not given regular positions.
“Montero, on her own, decided that the four losing candidates were each to be paid a fixed rate of P25,000 monthly, regardless of the number of days that they actually reported to work,” the anti-graft court said in its February 21 resolution.
“She knew of the legal impediment prohibiting the appointment of the four losing candidates to public office. To evade the said ban, Montero hired them as job order personnel under the Office of the Mayor,” the court pointed out. “Montero’s circumvention of the law…was clearly attended with bad faith and manifest partiality.” – Rappler.com
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