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Ex-QC village chair convicted of using barangay hall for security business

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The Office of the Ombudsman recently secured the conviction of a former Barangay chairman in Quezon City after using the barangay hall for his private security office.

In a release by the Office of the Ombudsman, Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 98 Judge Marilou Runes-Tamang convicted Fermin Bilaos, former chairman of Barangay Bagong Pag-asa for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Investigation from Ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor disclosed that from September 2006 to March 2009, Bilaos utilized the barangay hall as business office for Pistoleros and Detective Security Force, Inc., a private security agency owned by him.

“Bilaos conducted business in the barangay hall of Brgy. Pag-asa, Quezon City on a daily basis. The hiring and selection of security guards, operation of the business, payments of salaries were all done in the premises of the barangay hall​,’ the court ruling read.​

The inquiry even discovered that Bilao’s meetings with clients and potential clients were also handled the barangay hall

Some portions barangay hall also served as storage facility of the Bilaos’ security firm.

“It is enough that Bilaos had squandered unjustified favor to himself and Pistoleros in the exercise of his office as Barangay Captain. He acted with manifest partiality in conducting the affairs of Pistoleros in the barangay hall, when the office of the barangay hall is constituted to serve its constituents, thus causing undue injury to the government,” the decision read.

Bilaos was sentenced to imprisonment of two years and one month as minimum to four years and six months as maximum.

Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act prohibits public officials from causing any undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.