Sandiganbayan suspends Limay mayor pending trial over purchase of sons’ land
The Sandiganbayan has ordered the 90-day preventive suspension of Limay, Bataan, Mayor Nelson David pending his trial in connection with the municipal government’s alleged overpriced purchase of land owned by his sons.
In a recent 5-page resolution, the court’s 6th Division cited the mandatory character of preventive suspension of incumbent public officers facing valid graft charges, as provided by Section 13 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Acf.
“The court has neither discretion nor duty to determine whether suspension pedente lite is required to prevent the accused from using his office to intimidate witnesses or frustrate his prosecution or continue committing malfeasance in office,” read the resolution penned by Associate Justice Karl Miranda.
The court rejected David’s argument that it was impossible for him to use his office to tamper with the evidence or influence witnesses because he had not occupied the seat for almost a decade.
The case concerned the purchase of agricultural land owned by Richie Jayson and Christian Ryan David, who were also part of the Municipal Appraisal Committee.
David’s sons appraised the land at P10.18 million by using the values for residential land. This was despite the October 2002 tax declaration classifying the land as agricultural.