Ex-mayor Sarion gets jail over anomalous public market construction

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Former Daet, Camarines Norte mayor Tito Sarion has been sentenced to prison over the anomalous construction of a public market.

The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division has issued a decision which found Sarion guilty of graft and malversation of public funds.

In its ruling, the anti-graft court sentenced Sarion to imprisonment ranging from eight years and five months up to 14 years.

Apart from this, the court also ordered him to pay back the local government P1 million as well as meted him with perpetual disqualification to hold public office.

The case stemmed from the release of P1 million in April 2008 to Markbilt Construction as payment for Phase II of the construction of the Daet Public Market.

The court said Sarion endorsed Markbilt’s request for the approval of the Government Procurement Police Board (GPPB) only on November 2009 after the payment was already made and even disallowed by the Commission on Audit (COA).

“He just approved the disbursement voucher blindly relying on the signatures of his subordinates,” the court said.

“Clearly, the omissions and actuations of accused Sarion evince gross inexcusable negligence in the performance of his duties,” it stressed.