By Czarina Nicole Ong
Dismissed Malvar, Batangas Mayor Criseta Cuevas Reyes has been slapped with two graft charges before the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division in relation to the reportedly anomalous purchase of a 5,000-square meter lot.
In the charge sheet filed by Graft Investigation and prosecution officer II Yasmin Soraya Masukat, Reyes was charged for violation of Section 3(e) and (h) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
For the violation of Section 3(e), Reyes was charged alongside municipal treasurer Yolanda Cabiscuelas and municipal budget officer Jeanette Castillo Fruelda.
On July 31, 2009, the three of them were accused of conspiring with one another and acting with evident bad faith when they gave undue advantage to Katherine, Cynthia Rose, Kristina, Jose Gabriel and Karina – all children of the dismissed mayor and surnamed Reyes – when they paid them P6,650,000 for the purchase of the 5,000 square meter lot owned by them.
The purchase was made prior to the execution of the deed of portion sale conveying the property to the municipality, therefore causing damage and prejudice to the government.
For Reyes’ additional graft charge, she was accused of intervening in her official capacity as mayor in the said transaction, wherein she had direct or indirect financial interest to the detriment of public interest.
Her bail bond has been set at P60,000, while her co-accused have to pay P30,000 each for their provisional liberty.
The charge sheet was approved by both former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and her successor, Ombudsman Samuel Martires.