Naga City Mayor Val Chiong: ‘I will heed the Sandiganbayan’s suspension order’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong will heed the 90-day suspension order issued by Sandiganbayan against him.
In an interview today, August 14, Chiong told CDN Digital that he will vacate his office as soon as he receives a copy of the order.
The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division said that Chiong’s suspension is mandated for government officials accused of graft, in accordance with Republic Act 3019 or the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Chiong is accused of giving unwarranted benefits to Petronas Energy Philippines Inc. when he allegedly issued a business permit in April 2014 even if the gas company has not secured a Fire Safety Inspection Certification from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
The suspension order, according to Chiong, was merely procedural although he believes that it was no longer necessary to suspend him since all the judicial affidavits have already been submitted and that there is no way that his current position as city mayor can influence or tamper the pieces of evidence in the case.
“The prosecution has rested its case and the defense has already submitted the judicial affidavit of the last witness and hearing will be this August 29, In our show cause answer, we said that there is no more chance for the accused to tamper and suppress evidence,” Chiong said
Still, he said that “we submit to the wisdom of the court.”
Chiong said that he is yet to receive a copy of the Sixth Division’s order. As of 4:30 p.m. today, a copy of the order have not been received at his office.
During his suspension, Mayor Chiong’s daughter and former mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong will occupy the office of the mayor.
Mayor Chiong returned to City Hall only July 1, 2019 to replace Kristine who was mayor for one term from 2016 to 2019. /dcb
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