Now a candidate for Samar governor
TACLOBAN CITY- Samar Rep. Milagrosa ‘Mila’ Tan was acquitted by the Sandiganbayan on a complaint filed against her over alleged irregular purchase of medical and dental supplies while she was still the governor.
In a decision released on March 29, the anti-graft court said that the prosecution failed to establish that Tan committed graft and malversation of public funds involving P69 million.
The said act happened in 2007 while she was the governor of the province.
“There is no evidence that the drugs and medicines purchased were overvalued nor was there any showing of the accepted, appropriate or standard prices for the items. The court cannot merely speculate,” the Sandiganbayan said on its 67-page decision.
Associate Justice Geraldine Faith Econg penned the decision concurred by Associate Justices Efren dela Cruz and Edgardo Caldona.
The decision of the Second Division of the Sandiganbayan came out as Tan was gearing for her campaign on her bid to replace her daughter, Sharee Ann Tan, as governor of the province.
The younger Tan is running for the congressional post to be vacated by her mother.
Aside from Tan, also cleared by the Sandiganbayan were her co-defendants, namely, Roselyn Larce, Bienvenido Sabenecio Jr., Francasio Detosil, Ariel Yboa, Rolando Montejo, and George Abrina.
The Sandiganbayan has also ordered the release of their respective bail bonds and directed the Bureau of Immigration to remove them from the hold departure list.
Tan allegedly took advantage of her position as governor when she purchased various drugs, medicines, and dental supplies from Zybermed Medi Pharma owned by private respondent Larce between March 28 and August 21, 2007.
The Sandiganbayan, on its ruling, said that the questioned supplies were delivered and distributed to the people and a regular bidding was conducted.
Tan was earlier found guilty by the Fourth Division of Sandiganbayan on the alleged anomalous procurement of emergency supplies worth P16 million in 2001 when she was the governor of the province.
She posted bail for this case. (JOEY A. GABIETA)