Sandigan lifts travel order, returns bond of ex-Iloilo town mayor

By Benjamin Pulta

May 13, 2024, 8:50 pm

MANILA – The Sandiganbayan has ordered the return of the bond as well as the lifting of the travel ban on former mayor Mariano Malones of Maasin, Iloilo after the Supreme Court dismissed the graft charges against him for inordinate delay.

In its four-page resolution dated May 3, the Sandiganbayan Seventh Division explained that it received in April the entry of judgment for the Supreme Court (SC) resolution, which had declared the case against Malones closed and terminated.

The case involved alleged irregularities in the purchase of a garbage compactor truck worth PHP380,000 by the local government unit without public bidding in 2001.

The Commission on Audit found that the truck came from a Japanese firm RH International Co. Ltd. but documents were falsified to make it appear that the truck was donated.

In dismissing the charges against Malones, the SC’s July 20, 2022 decision noted that the case was originally filed by former local council member Winefredo Maternal on May 31, 2002, but the information was filed before the Sandiganbayan in 2014.

Malones was previously suspended for 90 days in 2016 due to the anomaly. (PNA)