Ombudsman denies recon on
graft raps vs Bohol Guv et al
QUEZON CITY. – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has denied the Motion for Reconsideration filed by Rep. Rene Relampagos of Bohol’s first district and Dennis Villareal, SALCON boss, in the graft and corruption charge filed by Association of Concerned Tagbilaranons (ACT), reports reaching Bohol News Today yesterday said.
The case stemmed from the sale of the Provincial Public Utilities Department (PPUD) twin enterprise of light and water by the provincial government to Salazar Construction (SALCON) , Inc. in the early 2000 through a transaction styled as a joint venture.
Among the respondents in the graft case included Relampagos who was the governor at the time of the signing of the joint venture with Salcon and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan at that time then led by Vice-Gov. Edgar M.Chatto and the board members who approved the transaction.
They are incumbent Board Member Tomas D. Abapo Jr., former BM Arnold Lungay who is now based in the United States, former BM Eufrasio Mascarinas who is also abroad, former BM Isabelito Tongco who now serves as the consultant in the office of Gov. Chatto and Villareal.
Then Board Member now Vice Gov. Concepcion Lim was also included as among the respondent. Lim is now the acting governor as Gov. Chatto is in the United States.
Former Provincial Atty. Inocentes Lopez was also included.
The other respondents include the late Board Members Exequiel Madrinan, Francisco Alesna Sr., Severino S.Caberte, Renato Lim Lemuel Digal and the late former Provincial Planning and Development Officer (APPDO), Atty.Juanito Cambangay.
Atty. Victor de la Serna, one of the lead counsels of ACT in the legal dispute which has already run for more than a decade, announced his receipt at almost noontime yesterday noon of the Order from the Ombudsman during the radio program “Sumada” aired over Station DYTR anchored by Allan Mangmang and Salvio Madanguit.
A copy of the said order was also obtained by the Bohol News Today from Atty. de la Serna who once served as OIC governor of the province in 1986.
In denying the motion for reconsideration filed by Relampagos and Villareal, Morales pointed out that the contention that the Resolution dismissing the complaint allegedly signed by then Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando c. Casimiro on July 2, 2008 has become final is untenable.
Morales said that the doctrine of finality and immutability of judgments which prohibits the alteration and modification or decisions in order to put and end to litigation is not without exception and cited the case of Union Bank of the Philippines vs. Pacific Equipment Corporation, et al in G.R. No. 172053 decided on October 6, 2008.
The Ombudsman stressed that in this case, the July 2, 2008 Resolution is deemed void because as appearing in the records of the case, the Resolution is signed by then Overall Deputy Ombudsman Casimiro is “only a photocopy of the proposed resolution and was appended not to the complete original case records then being reviewed by the Office of the Special Prosecutor but merely a duplicate file, which is contrary to the established procedure”.
Morales also rationalized that there is “no showing that then Overall Deputy Ombudsman Casimiro was duly designated as Acting Ombudsman and authorized to sign decisions and resolutions dismissing complaint was filed against high-ranking officials for the period” in question”.
The order was signed by Morales last June 23. Under the rules, the signing of the order denying the motion for reconsideration is simultaneous with the filing of the Information with the Sandiganbayan which is also given ten days to issue a warrant of arrest against the respondents. (dab)
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