S. Kudarat town officials accused of graft post bail bond

POSTED BAIL. Vice Mayor Lord Dean Castillo of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat (in red shirt), and five other town officials accused of graft show their papers after posting bail before the local court on Tuesday (Feb. 2, 2021). The officials earlier denied reports circulating on social media that they have been arrested, saying they voluntarily went to the court to post the required bail bond. (Photo courtesy of Isulan VM Castillo)

COTABATO CITY: Facing graft charges, local officials of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, posted bail on Tuesday after a local court issued warrants for their arrest.

Isulan Vice Mayor Lord Dean Castillo, together with Municipal Councilors Rene Aristoza, Mariblithe Cartujano-Garingo, Gina Belmes Dael, Ryan M. Dumaran, and Sangguniang Kabataan chair and ex-officio member Clarice Lagdamen were ordered arrested by Judge Allan Edwin Boncavil of RTC-Branch 19 for violation of R.A. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Castillo denied reports circulating on social media that he and the other accused have been arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

“We were not arrested; we voluntarily went to the court to post bail, went to the police to submit necessary documents,” Castillo said in a statement on his Facebook Page.

“We are not in any way involved in graft or corruption,” he added.

Castillo said he and other local officials did not receive any subpoena from the provincial prosecutor’s office to air their side on the case filed against them.

The vice mayor recalled that barangay health workers in two villages of Isulan had filed complaints against their village chairs after they were removed from their respective jobs following the 2019 elections.

“The complaints against the barangay chairpersons were filed before the Isulan town council; it is still pending,” Castillo said.

However, he said the village chairperson filed a complaint against him and the councilors before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for violation of RA 3019. He did not name the village official.

Castillo and his co-accused filed a PHP90,000 bail bond each. 

(Edwin Fernandez/PNA/SRNY/RSP)

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