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Favoritism fail: Narra mayor Demaala goes to jail for buying office supplies from daughter’s firm

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Narra, Palawan Mayor Lucena Diaz Demaala has been sentenced to imprisonment after being found guilty of multiple counts of graft for purchasing office supplies from her daughter’s company.

The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division has issued a decision which ruled that Demaala has been found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of 14 counts of graft.

With this, the anti-graft court sentenced her to suffer for each count of graft imprisonment ranging from six years and one month up to 10 years.

During trial, the prosecution presented 14 disbursement vouchers which were issued for the payment of supplies and other materials purchased from ADB Trading and Services from January to December 2010.

The firm was found to be have been owned by her daughter Arleen Diaz Barquilla-Cabado and showed Demaala had indirect pecuniary interest over the purchases.

In its decision, the court convicted Demaala since she “failed to present any countervailing evidence to the prosecution’s evidence.”

“She did not even testify in court,” it stressed.

The 3rd Division also did not believe the testimony of Cabado who claimed she no longer owns to firm and had sold it to a friend back in 1998 via a verbal agreement and without any document supporting the transfer.

“Granting that Cabando merely leased her interest in the ADB Trading & Services to Garcia, the ownership of the said business remained with Cabando,” the court stated.