Monico absolve in computer graft charges after 13yrs

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After a decade and a quarter of waiting for the court to rule on the graft charges filed against him on the alleged overpriced computer IT package, the former congressman and mayor of Bacolod Monico Puentevella received a favorable decision from the court.

The Second Division of the Sandiganbayan on Monday, November 16, handed down its resolution acquitting Puentevella and his co-accused Jessie Garcia over the graft charges for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019).

The court also lifted the overseas travel ban imposed on him and ordered the release of the P100,000 bailbond he deposited before the anti-graft court in liue of his provisional liberty.

The case stemmed from the alleged overpriced purchase of IT packages worth P26 million using his Priority Development Assistance Funds when he was congressman from 2002 to 2007.

These IT packages were distributed in various public elementary and secondary schools in Bacolod and was allegedly priced at P400,000 each, which include a computer, 50 compact discs, instructional materials and a one-day seminar workshop.

In 2015, the Department of Interior and Local Government implemented a 90-day suspension order issued by the Sandiganbayan against Puentevella.