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ANTONIO M.

BOLASTIG
vs.
HON. SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division) and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 110503, August 4, 1994

FACTS
Antonio M. Bolastig is the governor of the province of Samar. Information was
filed against him and two others Pedro Ason the provincial treasurer and Prudencio
Macabenta the property officer of the province- for alleged overpricing of 100 reams of
onion skin paper in violation of Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The Sandiganbayan
acting upon the motion of the Special Prosecutor suspended the Petitioner for 90 days
with the strength of the provision of sec. 13 of the Anti graft and corrupt practices act
which provides for the preventive suspension of public officers if they are under criminal
prosecution under valid information under the same act or under title 7, Book II of the
RPC, or for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property as
basis. However, herein petitioner contends that his suspension was a mindless and
meaningless exercise and it was imposed without regard to the spirit and intent of the
law in which it is based. He further contends that his suspension may deprive his
constituents of the services of an elected official elected by them. Sandiganbayan
rejected the motion of the accused hence this petition.

ISSUE
Whether the Sandiganbayan is correct in suspending herein petitioner as
Governor with the strength of Sec. 13 of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

HELD
Yes, it is now settled that sec 13 of Republic Act No. 3019 makes it mandatory
for the Sandiganbayan to suspend any public officer against whom a valid information
charging violation of the law, Book II, Title 7 of the RPC, or any offense involving fraud
upon government or public funds or property is filed. The fact that an elected officials
preventive suspension may deprive his constituents of the official elected by them is not
a sufficient basis for reducing what is otherwise a mandatory suspension provided by
law.