Guagua mayor suspended anew

Ian Ocampo Flora

EMBATTLED Guagua Mayor Dante Torres has been suspended anew.

The Second Division of anti-graft court Sandiganbayan ordered his 90-day preventive suspension from office in relation to the technical malversation charges filed against him.

Torres is on trial for the alleged illegal use of P2.76 million in public funds in violation of Article 220 of the Revised Penal Code.

The funds were used for the rehabilitation of the Manuel P. Santiago Park.

Under a municipal ordinance issued in July 2014, however, the funds were intended for the rehabilitation of the Aurelio Tolentino Frontage Area and the purchase of a refrigerator van and heavy equipment.

Torres declined to comment on this latest suspension order.

He had previously been suspended twice.

In December 2016, he was suspended for three months after he was found administratively liable for simple misconduct, or violation of Article 171 (4) of Revised Penal Code.

In February 2016, Torres was also suspended after complainant Juan Pring filed before the Ombudsman a complaint for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty against him.

The mayor allegedly signed a marriage certificate, which he did not officiate.

The latest order from the Sandiganbayan said the motion of the prosecution to suspend Torres is "meritorious" since Section 13 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act allows the anti-graft court to suspend an incumbent public official facing criminal proceedings.