Bukidnon vice gov convicted of graft

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    BUKIDNON Vice Governor Rogelio N. Quiño has been convicted of graft by the Sandiganbayan and is now facing six years in jail and removal from office.

    The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division likewise perpetually disqualified Quiño from holding any public office.

    Associate Justice Kevin Narce B. Vivero penned the 45-page decision that pronounced the Vice Governor guilty of gross inexcusable negligence for approving the multiple increases in the compensation of his own brother who was hired as a municipal shop foreman of the municipality of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

    At the time of the supposed commission of the crime, Quiño was the municipal mayor.

    His sister, then municipal budget officer Cecilia Quiño-Rejas, and brother Antonio N. Quiño were acquitted for lack of evidence to establish conspiracy with the Vice Governor.

    “From the court’s standpoint, the negligence displayed by accused Mayor Quiño … were of such nature and degree as to be considered brazen, flagrant, and palpable. The negligence committed by Mayor Quiño was both gross and inexcusable,” the Sandiganbayan said.

    Associate Justices Karl B. Miranda and Sarah Jane T. Fernandez, Sixth Division chairperson, concurred.

    Based on the case filed in 2016 by the Office of the Ombudsman, Antonio Quiño was hired as a mechanical shop foreman in the Municipal Motorpool Division in June 2008 with a monthly compensation of Salary Grade 11.

    After six months, his employment was renewed and his pay rate increased to Salary Grade 13, then to Salary Grade 15 in 2009 and 2010, and yet again to Salary Grade 18 in 2012.

    Prosecutors said accused Mayor Quiño approved all the renewals of employment and salary adjustments of his brother despite reminders from other municipal officials that the Department of Budget and Management only assigned Salary Grade 11 for a mechanical shop foreman.

    In convicting the accused, the Sandiganbayan noted that the prosecution was able to establish that the government suffered specific damages from the unlawful increase in the salaries of Antonio Quiño from 2008 to 2012 amounting to P234,113.83.

    “The prosecution was able to specify, quantify, and prove to the point of moral certainty the undue injury suffered by the government,” the anti-graft court said.