Sandigan suspends MinDA exec for bringing hubby to work seminar

For allegedly bringing her husband to a safety seminar using government money, an official of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) was slapped with a 90-day preventive suspension by the Sandiganbayan.

In a four-page resolution, the Sandiganbayan said MinDA Finance and Administrative Services director Charlita Andales Escano’s arguments against her suspension have no merit, considering that preventive suspension under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act is mandatory.

“Record shows that the accused was charged under the Information dated July 11, 2018 for violation of Section 3e of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which the Court finds to be sufficient in form and substance. Its validity was never disputed by the accused. Record also shows that the accused is an incumbent government official, a fact undisputed by accused in her Compliance,” the Sandiganbayan said.

“Verily, the conditions for preventive suspension have been satisfied and the Court is duty-bound to issue the order of suspension against accused as a matter of course. Wherefore, premises considered, accused Charlita Andales Escano is hereby suspended pendente lite, as Director IV, Office of Finance and Administrative Services, MinDA, and from any other public positions she may now or hereafter hold, for a period of 90 days from receipt of this Resolution,” it added.

State prosecutors are accusing Escano of giving her husband, Alan, undue advantage when she brought him to the Basic Occupational Safety and Health Course for Construction Site Officers held at the Ritz Hotel from March 16 to 20, 2015 instead of a certain Renato Buhat, Jr.

Escano’s husband is not a MinDA employee, but the Ombudsman is alleging that Escano also used government funds to pay for her husband’s P6,000 registration fee as one of the delegates of the same safety and health course.

The anti-graft court has already sent the copy of the Resolution slapping a suspension order on Escano to the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for implementation. The DILG chief must inform the Sandiganbayan of the action taken on the suspension order 15 days from receipt of the resolution.