Former Davao Oriental mayor convicted of graft

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    FORMER Caraga, Davao Oriental mayor William Duma-an made it almost too easy for the prosecution: not only did he admit receiving money from a local contractor, he even signed on the dotted line.

    Duma-an’s admission and signature were enough for the court to find him guilty of graft for which he is now facing six to 10 years in jail. In addition, he has been perpetually disqualified from holding any public office.

    Based on the records of the case filed in 2016, the defendant requested and received a P2 million loan from Roseller Macayra, chief executive officer of RR Summit Consultants Inc. which had an existing consultancy contract with the municipal government of Caraga.

    The loan approval was made contingent upon the mayor’s assurances that he will facilitate the release of a three percent service fee for RR Summit Consultants Inc. for the Caraga Public Market, Terminal and Commercial Complex Construction Project.

    Testifying in his defense, the accused confirmed that he borrowed money from private complainant Macayra and that he had been paying the loan in installment as supported by deposit receipts with local money remittance services.

    He also admitted that there was an existing contract between Macayra’s company and the municipal government and that he assured the payment of three-percent consultancy fee to the private complainant.

    While Macayra failed to testify for the prosecution, the Sandiganbayan said his testimony was not needed.

    “A judicious examination of the documentary evidence on record as well as the accused’s own admissions convince the Court of the guilt of the accused beyond moral certainty,” the Sandiganbayan said.

    Even the evidence offered by the defense consisting of deposit receipts showing partial payments to the complainant only served to strengthen the case against Duma-an.

    “Accused Duma-an himself admitted his receipt of the total amount of P2 million from the private complainant as a loan. He even admitted the authenticity of the “contract with loan confirmation and promissory note” executed between himself and the private complainant,” the court pointed out.