Sandiganbayan grants plea bargain to former DAR-Caraga regional head

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THE SANDIGANBAYAN approved the plea bargain of former Department of Agriculture (DAR) Caraga regional head Datu Yusoph B. Mama over the misappropriation of P184,904 in public funds for his personal use. In its May 7 decision, the Sandiganbayan 6th Division ordered Mr. Mama to pay a fine of P6,000 in exchange for pleading guilty to a lesses offense. The anti-graft court convicted him of failure to render accounts under Article 218 of the Revised Penal Code. He was originally charged for violation of Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, or malversation of public funds, for failing to account for the total amount, which he received as cash advances from Aug. 28, 1997 to Feb. 18, 1999. The case originated from a liquidation report submitted by the Commission on Audit on September 30, 2011, in which Mr. Mama had yet to account for the funds, which he received and had full control of in his Butuan City office. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras