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Ex-Samar mayor fined P1,000 after pleading guilty in P282,000 unlawful reimbursements case

The former mayor of Motiong, Samar has pleaded guilty to his alleged unlawful reimbursements for the purchase of supplies and services related to the municipality's water system project in 2008.

The Sandiganbayan Second Division, thus, sentenced former Mayor Francisco Maceren Langi Sr. for violation of the Government Auditing Code and imposed a fine of P1,000 against him.

Langi was initially charged with graft when he allegedly approved the payments worth P282,315.40 to himself as reimbursement for expenses and to several suppliers for various goods and services in connection with the Agricultural Productivity Development Program of Motiong

The prosecution said Langi failed to justify why he resorted to an alternative mode of procurement, such as the canvass from three different suppliers, and despite the lack of official receipts from his pre-selected suppliers.

Langi, however, informed the Sandiganbayan in March of his intention to plead guilty to the lesser offense of violation of Presidential Decree No. 1445, or the Government Auditing Code.

The Sandiganbayan said the prosecution made no objection on the rearraignment of Langi.

"Upon being re-arraigned under the same information, accused Langi Sr., through counsel, informed the court that he is waiving the reading of the information, that he understands the nature and cause of the charge against him, and that he is pleading guilty to the lesser offense," the Sandiganbayan said in its decision.

Division chairperson Associate Justice Oscar Herrera Jr. penned the decision, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Michael Frederick Musngi and Lorifel Pahimna. — MDM, GMA News