Former Mariveles, Bataan mayor Angel Peliglorio Jr. (Top Featured Image), and businessman Cedric Lee (photo below).
By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — Finding merit in the case filed against home over misappropriation of public funds in 2015, the Sandiganbayan has barred former Mariveles, Bataan mayor Angel Peliglorio Jr. and businessman Cedric Lee from leaving the country following their conviction of malversation charges filed against them before the anti-graft court.
Peliglorio Jr. and Lee were convicted in relation to the release of P23 million for the construction of a public market that never materialized.
In the decision promulgated on June 3, 2022, and penned by Sandiganbayan associate justice Bernelito Fernandez, the anti-graft court’s Third Division found Peliglorio and Lee “guilty beyond reasonable doubt for the crime of malversation” and “sentenced to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of 12 years and one day of reclusion temporal as a minimum to 18 years, eight months, and one day of reclusion temporal as maximum.”
Both of the accused were also ordered by the court to pay a fine of P23,470,000, which is equivalent to the funds misappropriated by them. Peliglorio and Lee were also perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
The Sandiganbayan’s decision stemmed from a case filed in 2015, wherein Peliglorio, who was then municipal mayor of Mariveles, authorized the release of P23.47 million in public funds in March 2005 to Lee’s Izumo Contractors Incorporated “without procedural safeguards, a guarantee of performance, and in violation of Commission on Audit rules, as an advance payment for the construction of the Mariveles Public Market, which construction never commenced.”
Despite having found the two guilty of malversation of public funds, the Sandiganbayan, however, acquitted Peliglorio and Lee of violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for the “failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt” in connection with the release of P14,056,084.43 advance payment from Mariveles’ bank loan proceeds to Lee’s Izumo Contractors for public market construction. (ai/mtvn)