In this file photo taken onboard MS Insignia, city tourism chief Aileen Cynthia Amurao receives a memento for the city government from Capt. Damir Kurilic.

The city government has implemented the 90-day suspension of tourism chief Aileen Cynthia Amurao who was charged by the 6th Division of the Sandiganbayan for alleged fraud in the use of public funds.

City administrator and legal counsel Atty. Arnel Pedrosa told Palawan News they implemented the “ordered” suspension on September 16.

Amurao was charged along with operations assistant Joyce Cabanag Enriquez, tourism promotion officer Michie Meneses, and operations assistant Michael Angelo Lucero, but it was only her that the Sandiganbayan suspended.

“Her preemptive suspension was implemented noong nakaraan pang September 16. Kahit apat silang accused doon ay si Aileen lang ang nabigyan ng order without pay ‘yon. After [the suspension,] babalik naman siya. The rest of the accused ay dito lang sila,” he said.

Pedrosa said while Amurao’s suspension is in effect, the City Tourism Department (CTD) will be taken care of by assistant tourism officer Demetrio Alvior.

Amurao’s suspension stemmed from the anti-graft court’s September 5 promulgation that held her responsible for allegedly using donations meant for the CTD’s projects.

Sandiganbayan said the suspension of public officials charged with a crime is “mandatory” by virtue of the Revised Penal Code under Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

It said further that the case against Amurao was affirmed in August 2017 following her arraignment.