The Sandiganbayan has allowed a former Negros Occidental mayor to plead to a lesser offense after he issued a mayor’s permit to himself and his wife for the operation of a hollow blocks and trucking business in 2013.
In a resolution dated last Nov. 29, the anti-graft court’s 3rd Division has allowed Alberto Aguilar Nicor Jr., former mayor of La Castellana, to plead to a lesser graft offense, granting the joint manifestation and motion of the Office of the Ombudsman.
“The consent of the offended party and the prosecutor to the said agreement is duly established in the record. The Memorandum dated March 9, 2018 of Assistant Prosecutor Lyn G. Dimayuga requesting authority to enter into a plea bargaining agreement shows the approval of Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Paul Elmer M. Clemente, the nominal complainant in this case, Special Prosecutor Edilberto G. Sandoval, and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales,” the anti-graft court said in its ruling.
The Sandiganbayan also scheduled Nicor’s arraignment on the graft case on December 14.
Nicor’s lawyers and the prosecution filed the “Joint Manifestation and Motion” dated Sept. 19, and the “Plea Bargaining Agreement” dated Aug. 29 before the Sandiganbayan.
Court records showed that the Ombudsman charged Nicor with three counts of violation of Section 3(h) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, due to the alleged anomalous issuance of a mayor’s permits to himself and his wife in 2013.
On Jan. 24, 2013, he allegedly took advantage of his position by issuing a mayor’s permit to his wife, Noeme, allowing her to operate a hollow blocks business.
Nicor also granted himself and a business partner a mayor’s permit on Jan. 25, 2013 and Feb. 25, 2013 to engage in a trucking business.
The Sandiganbayan set Nicor’s bail bond at PHP30,000 for each count of graft or a total of PHP90,000. (PNA)