Misamis Oriental Gov. Antonio CalinginMisamis Oriental Gov. Antonio Calingin, in prison for 18 years, convicted for graft

MANILA, Philippines—The Sandiganbayan has sentenced former Misamis Oriental Gov. Antonio Calingin of up to 18 years in prison over the missing spare parts of two vehicles of the provincial government worth more than P2 million.

In a statement it issued on Friday, the Office of the Ombudsman said the antigraft court found Calingin guilty beyond reasonable doubt of malversation for cannibalizing the motor parts of two Toyota Hi-Lux assigned as service vehicles of the Office of the Provincial Governor.

In its decision promulgated on Dec. 4, the court said the former governor should be held accountable for the sudden disappearance of the two vehicles in 2004.

Calingin, who served as governor for two terms—from 1998 to 2004, was suspended for six months without pay by the Office of the President in 2003 for dishonesty, gross negligence and grave misconduct for the offense.

“In an effort to retrieve the government-issued vehicles, two letters were sent in 2004 demanding the return of the vehicles,” the Ombudsman said.

“(T)he Provincial Retrieval Team organized by then Governor Oscar Moreno discovered that the vehicles were placed in a warehouse in Claveria, Misamis Oriental, and were cannibalized, rendering them unserviceable,” it said.

Besides meting out a prison term, the antigraft court also directed Calingin to pay a fine of P2,082,385 and was perpetually barred from joining the government service.

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