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Sandiganbayan affirms conviction of ex-barangay captain for graft

The Sandiganbayan affirmed the 8-year imprisonment of a former barangay captain of Dulag, Leyte in connection to the illegal demolition of houses in the barangay.

In a 33-page decision promulgated on February 17, the Anti-Graft Court Fifth Division affirmed the decision of the Tacloban City Regional Trial Court which sentenced Jovito Tupaz to six to eight years of imprisonment for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by private individuals against Tupaz concerning the unlawful demolition of their houses in Barangay M.H. Del Pilar by virtue of a writ of demolition Tupaz issued.

“Accused-appellant cannot feign ignorance of the fact that only 1/5 portion of the entire undivided land was released to the Legaspis… malicious intent was evident and clearly manifest from his acts when he proceeded to order the demolition of all houses built on said land,” the court said.

Tupaz was ordered to pay the private complainant P100,000 as temperate damages, with legal interest of 6% per annum from the finality of the decision until fully paid.

The court also perpetually disqualified him from holding public office. —Joahna Lei Casilao/ VAL, GMA Integrated News