Ex-Labason, Zamboanga del Norte mayor charged

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By Czarina Nicole Ong

Former Labason Mayor Wilfredo Subido Balais of Zamboanga Del Norte has been charged with falsification before the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division for reportedly falsifying a Notice of Award.

In the charge sheet filed by Assistant Special Prosecutor III Jorge B. Espinal, Balais was accused of violating Article 171 paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code, otherwise known as falsification of a public or official document.

On January 2011, Balais reportedly falsified a Notice of Award, pertaining to the procurement of one Nissan Patrol. He made it appear that the bid of Oro Cars Display Center amounting to P960,000 was accepted.

However, Espinal said Balais “fully knew well that Oro Cars Display Center did not participate in the afore-mentioned bidding, to the damage and prejudice of public interest.”

His bail bond has been set at P24,000.

The Office of the Ombudsman initially wanted to charge Balais with a violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Ombudsman investigators discovered that the vehicle procured by Balais was the same one he sold to Eduardo Ayunting, owner of Oro Cars Display Center, for only P500,000 under a deed of sale dated November 26, 2010.

However, in the end, Balais was charged with only falsification instead of graft before the Sandiganbayan.