Bill amending Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act hurdles 2nd reading

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

November 3 2017, 5:57 pm

MANILA -- The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a measure limiting the applicability of preventive suspension only to public officers who are still connected with the office wherein the offense charged was committed.

Members of the lower chamber passed through viva voce voting House Bill 6590, which seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act" by providing an exception to the imposition of preventive suspension against public officers.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, principal author of the bill, said the exception shall be applicable to public officers facing trial for offenses committed in previous government posts.

Alvarez said a preventive suspension is imposed to avert an accused from influencing potential witnesses or tampering with records. He said the change in circumstances of the public officer effectively removes that threat.

The proposed provision states that: “In case such elected public officer is no longer connected with the office wherein the offense charged was committed, the preventive suspension order shall no longer be implemented.”

Should the incumbent public officer be convicted by final judgment, he shall lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law.

But if he is acquitted, he shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension, unless in the meantime administrative proceedings have been filed against him. (PNA)