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Anti-graft court slams reversal of ex-QC barangay official

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By Allan Yves Briones

Former Quezon City (QC) barangay secretary Carolyn Tabora could possibly spend up to 60 years in prison after the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division slammed her motion for a reversal.

In a 23-page decision, the anti-graft court affirmed the decision of QC Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 98 which held that Tabora was guilty of six counts of graft for granting a barangay kagawad his salary despite being overseas in 2004.

“While she claimed that she asked the barangay captain if the name of Kagawad Ronario should be removed from the payroll since he was out of the country at that time, she did nothing despite the barangay captain’s answer in the affirmative,” the court’s decision read.

In 2004, Tabora allegedly signed off on granting the wages of Kagawad Raymund Ronario despite the latter not working from July to December of 2004 because he was in Japan.

According to the court, her failure to remove the overseas kagawad from payroll constituted an act “characterized by want of the slightest care with conscious indifference to the consequences.”

Tabora argued that she was not the person responsible for the payrolls, but the court ruled against her stating that she was “well aware that (the kagawad) did not work from July to December 2004”, and as such, “was not entitled to receive his salary.”

For violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the court sentenced Tabora to up to 10 years imprisonment for each count, modifying the earlier RTC decision.

For her crimes, Tabora is also forever barred by the court from holding public office.

Undersigned in the decision are Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, concurred by Associate Justices Sarah Jane Fernandez and Bernelito Fernandez.