Gwen hits back at Ace over Sandiganbayan conviction
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Incumbent Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia hits former Tourism Secretary and gubernatorial candidate Joseph Felix Mari ‘Ace’ Durano over the Sandiganbayan’s decision to convict the latter for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Garcia, in a statement sent to reporters, slammed Durano for claiming that the anti-graft court’s recent ruling against him was ‘politically motivated.’
The governor told the former Cabinet official, and her opponent in the upcoming May 2022 elections, to “face the cases like a man.”
“My advice to Mr Durano: Face your cases like a man. Stop whining. And certainly stop impugning the integrity of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan,” said Garcia.
She also denied that she had any involvement in the recent ruling issued by the Sandiganbayan.
“Politically motivated? I understand the information was filed against Mr Durano sometime in 2017. And the Office of the Ombudsman filed a case against Mr Durano on March 22, 2019. I was not even governor then, on both dates. So how could it be politically motivated? By clairvoyance?” she explained.
Durano and five other officials of the Department of Tourism (DOT) were found guilty by Sandiganbayan on violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
It stemmed from a case accusing the then Tourism chief and members of the department’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of skipping the bidding process to award the contract for the production of a wall-calendar.
The project costs around P2.7 million.
Durano’s camp earlier said they would be filing an appeal, adding that they were confident the charges against him would be dropped.
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