MANILA – The Sandiganbayan has acquitted a municipal mayor and a building official who ordered the demolition of houses illegally built along waterways and road network.
In a 58-page decision on Feb. 19, the anti-graft court’s Sixth Division acquitted former Tubay, Agusan Del Norte mayor Sadeka G. Tomaneng and municipal engineer Christopher N. Dagani in charges arising from the demolition of houses in 2011.
The complainants led by a certain Luciano Selades Jr. and Johnny Cabalan claimed their homes were built on lots classified as resettlement or relocation sites in Brgy. La Fraternidad in Tubay, Agusan del Norte.
The defense cited that the houses had been put up along a waterway/canal and road network of the relocation site.
The houses were built without the required permits, prompting the municipality of Tubay to declare these as illegal and issue notice to stop the construction of more houses.
The anti-graft court said the demolished houses were built both on the barangay road and along the creek of the relocation site according to the subdivision plan of the Lungsod Daan Relocation Site and “must be demolished or abated.”
“The demolition of the houses was made in accordance with the constitution and applicable laws. Complainants were likewise afforded due process and the opportunity to remove the illegal structures on their own. The injury suffered by them is not undue considering that it was brought by their own refusal to comply with the lawful order of the accused,” it added. (PNA)