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QC councilor’s researcher to be suspended

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The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division instructed Flordeliza Alvarez, who is presently working as a researcher at Quezon City Councilor Hero Bautista's office, to be suspended for 90 days.

Her suspension originated from her injury allegations and 18 counterfeit charges that she and late councilor Francisco Calalay Jr. are facing. From January to November 2010, the charges involved recruiting ghost staff. By submitting fake private data sheets and payrolls, Calalay Jr. allegedly published P2.175 million in government funds.

Alvarez pleaded with the tribunal not to apply the 90-day suspension as she would find it hard to lose revenue.

The anti-graft tribunal, however, depended on R.A's Section 13. 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), which states that "any incumbent public official against whom any criminal prosecution under this Act ... should be suspended from office."

“This Court is duty-bound to order the suspension of the accused,” the resolution read.

Alvarez is a contract worker, but the Sandiganbayan acknowledged in Preclaro v. Sandiganbayan's Supreme Court (SC) ruling that contract staff are still deemed government officials.

Her contract of employment with Bautista runs from 1 January to 30 June 2019, while the resolution was promulgated on 2 July. But the tribunal said she is disqualified "from any other government roles she may hold for a period of 90 days from the resolution's receipt."

Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez and Associate Justices Karl Miranda and Kevin Narce Vivero have written the resolution.

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