Arrest warrant issued vs Bohol mayor convicted of graft

Published July 6, 2022, 4:04 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – A warrant of arrest has been issued against Marnilou Ayuban, the mayor of Alicia, Bohol who was convicted of graft.

Ayuban has yet to show up after an arrest warrant of was issued against him prior to his assumption into office.

He took his oath of office last June 8 before a notary public, Atty. John Edward Trinidad.

On June 16, Judge Jorge Espinal of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 51 in Carmen, Bohol issued a warrant of arrest against Ayuban and former councilors Paul Villas, the current municipal budget officer, and Eusebio Ayuban Jr.

This prompted Ayuban to designate Municipal Administrator Junavie Piquero as officer-in-charge of the Office of the Mayor from June 30, 2022 to July 15, 2022 through a June 30 memorandum order.

Ayuban has pending disqualification case and petition for cancellation of his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila filed by his opponent, former Mayor Victoriano Torres III.

After the elections, Torres filed quo waranto case before the RTC in Carmen on the ground of material misrepresentation for failure of Ayuban to declare his case in his COC.

Ayuban has been convicted of graft charges when he was a town councilor in 2002 along with seven others.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas by Jonathan Puracan, who was appointed councilor of Alicia by then Bohol Gov. Rene Relampagos in 2001.

Ayuban, along with seven other members of the Sangguniang Bayan, allegedly refused to recognize Puracan as replacement of Rogelio Balahay, who resigned from his position.

On May 17, 2002, then Judge Patsita Sarmiento-Gamutan of the RTC Branch 51 issued the warrant of arrest against Ayuban and seven others following their conviction of the charges for violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

On June 27, 2016, the RTC found the eight accused guilty of the offense and sentenced each the penalty of imprisonment of six years with perpetual disqualification from public office.

On March 12, 2019, the Court of Appeals Special 20th Division in Cebu City affirmed with modification making the penalty of imprisonment of up to 10 years and six months as maximum with perpetual disqualification from public office.

On March 11, 2020, the Supreme Court Second Division also denied the petition for review and the decision became final and executory on October 14, 2020 as recorded in the Book of Entries of Judgments.

On June 7, 2022, the RTC denied the manifestation with motion to hold in abeyance issuance of warrant to enforce judgment.

Instead, Espinal ordered the cancellation of bail bonds posted by Ayuban, Villas, and Ayuban Jr.