By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki
Former Babatngon Mayor Charita Montaño Chan of Leyte has been charged with graft before the Sandiganbayan Third Division for the reportedly anomalous issuance of a permit for cockfighting operations.
In the charge sheet filed by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer III Cynthia C. Maturan-Sibi, Chan was accused of violating Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019, in relation to Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1802 (Creating the Gamefowl Commission) and Section 6(h) of Ordinance No. 191 of Babatngon, Leyte (Cockfighting Code of Babatngon, Leyte).
On August 28, 2009, Chan was accused of acting with evident bad faith and manifest partiality when she issued Mayor’s Permit No. 03-30-2009 to Nicomedes C. Alde, even though she no longer had authority from the Sangguniang Bayan of Babatngon to do so.
Resolution No. 2253-07, which authorized her to issue the permit, was repealed by the same legislative body on September 3, 2008 via Resolution No. 2412-08, on the ground that Alde failed to comply with the requirements provided for under Ordinance No. 191, also known as the Cockfighting Code of Babatngon, Leyte.
Since the permit was issued without the concurrent authority of the Sangguniang Bayan as required both under Presidential Decree No. 1802 and Ordinance No. 191, Chan had given unwarranted benefits and advantage or preference to Alde.
Chan’s bail bond has been set at P30,000.