Convicted ex-Cebu mayor denied house arrest

Former Aloguinsan, Cebu Mayor Cynthia Moreno lost her bid to be allowed for house or hospital arrest after the Supreme Court denied her petition in connection with her conviction for graft in 2014 with a maximum 10-year sentence.

The SC Third Division — in an 11-page resolution — affirmed the decision of the Sandiganbayan denying the house arrest petition of the former Aloguinsan mayor
“By no stretch of the imagination could this case be taken as a judicial precedent allowing a convicted criminal, such as a petitioner to serve his or her sentence outside a penal institution due to poor health conditions,” the Supreme Court said in the resolution penned by Associate Justice Henri Jean Paul Inting.

The court agreed with the Sandiganbayan that it has “no discretion to allow petitioner to serve her sentence by rendering community service, more so, under home care/house arrest.”

It added that there were no rules that could allow her to serve her sentence under house arrest, adding that there was “nothing capricious, whimsical or even arbitrary” in the Sandiganbayan’s denial of the petitioner’s motion.

To recall, in June 2014, the anti-graft court sentenced Moreno and seven others to a minimum of six years up to 10 years of imprisonment for graft charges in connection with the irregularities in the procurement of P1.1 million worth of construction supplies without public bidding and the decision became final and executory in 2019.

The lawyers of the former local chief executive asked the Sandiganbayan that Moreno be placed under house arrest while being supervised by the local Bureau of Jail Management and Penology officers or of the Department of Justice instead of serving her term in a penal institution.

Her petition was denied as she failed to show medical records that she is suffering from any health condition.

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