Alfonso Castaneda, Nueva Viscaya Mayor Jerry Pasigian has been found guilty of graft and malversation by the Sandiganbayan 1st Division for the anomalous purchase of a Nissan Patrol worth P1.350 million.
Because of this, the anti-graft court sentenced him to imprisonment of at least six years and one month for his graft conviction and at least four years and five months for malversation.
The court also ordered him to pay a fine of P453,213.19 which represents the depreciated value of the vehicle.
Under the charges, Pasigian is accused of giving unwarranted benefit to Gilbert Arellano from whom the vehicle was purchased from without holding a public bidding.
Pasigian also registered the vehicle under his name instead of the local government.
The court pointed out “accused’s bad faith can be deduced not only from its purchase without public bidding, but from the fact that the vehicle was registered in his name after its purchase shown in the Deed of Sale.”
It added Pasigian cannot deny this since he paid for the fees and transfer of the vehicle himself as well as sold the Patrol to a certain Ben Polig who made an initial payment of P250,000.
“When the accused was pressed for the surrender of the vehicle to the municipality, he was able to return the vehicle after retrieving the same from Mr. Polig with whom he exchanged his L-200 pickup,” the court said.
“He cannot, therefore, claim to have clean hands in his dealings with the subject vehicle when glaringly it was otherwise,” it ruled.