Zamboanga del Sur vice mayor sentenced to jail for appointing cousin

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Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur Vice Mayor Allan Damas has been sentenced to imprisonment ranging from six to eight years for appointing his cousin as municipal treasurer.

The Sandiganbayan 6th Division slapped the prison term after finding him guilty of graft for the appointment of his cousin, Nellie Poliran Toledo, in 2006 when Damas was town mayor.

“The prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused, through his acts done with evident bad faith, gave unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to Toledo by paving the way for her appointment to the position of Municipal Treasurer, despite being disqualified due to being the accused’s relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity,” it said.

Court records show that Damas certified Toledo is not a relative when the appointment was made in violation of the Local Government Code.

The law prohibits the appointment of persons who are related to the appointing authority within the fourth civil degree.

The Sandiganbayan said it was public knowledge in the municipality that they were cousins and negates the claim of Damas that the appointment was done in good faith.

The two were be first cousin since the mother of Damas is the sister of Toledo’s father.