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Ex-Lucena mayor acquitted

By CZARINA NICOLE ONG

Former Lucena City Mayor Ramon Talaga Jr. has been acquitted by the Sandiganbayan Second Division of his graft charge in relation to the reportedly anomalous issuance of a Mayor’s business permit in favor of a bingo establishment.

He was earlier charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act alongside Zoning Administrator Peter L. Palamiano for giving undue advantage to Lucena Bingo, which is owned and operated by South Entertainment Gallery Inc. (SEGI).

They issued the Mayor’s business permit to Lucena Bingo on January 28, 2005 despite the fact that the establishment is operating within the prohibited 200 linear meters radius from educational and religious institutions – Lucena East VIII Elementary School and San Isidro Church, respectively.

This was in violation of Section 29 of Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 1286, series of 1980, otherwise known as the General Welfare Clause of the Codified Ordinances of Lucena City.

On the other hand, they closed down JES Recreation Corporation sometime in 2003 by virtue of the resolution.

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