February 25, 2024

Ex-Sorsogon gov nabbed for graft

By Justine Rich Talusan

AGENTS of the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group arrested former Sorsogon Gov. Raul Lee on the strength of a warrant of arrest for graft issued by the Sandiganbayan.

PNP-CIDG director Brig. Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr. said Lee, 82, was placed under arrest inside the Sorsogon Provincial Hospital in Sorsogon City based on a warrant for violation of Section 3 of Republic Act 3019 issued last January 26 by Sandiganbayan First Division chairperson and  Associate Justice Efren dela Cruz.

Operatives of the CIDG Sorsogon Field Unit and the  local police force served the warrant of arrest against Lee.

On March 2021, the Sandiganbayan convicted the ex-governor for two counts of graft over the irregular purchase of computers, software and other equipment in 2005 and sentenced him to 12-years in prison apart from barring him from holding public office.

According to the court, Lee was guilty of manifest partiality or gross inexcusable negligence when he entered into a joint venture agreement and memorandum of agreement with the contractor despite the lack of recommendation from the Bids and Awards Committee.

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Kevin Narce Vivero.

In August 2017, the Sandiganbayan also convicted Lee of graft in connection with the P723 million fertilizer fund scam.