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Ombudsman dismisses graft charge vs Iloilo mayor Sorongon

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The Office of the Ombudsman dismissed the graft complaint filed against New Lucena Mayor Christian Sorongon, who was charged with malversation of public property by Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Liecel Mondehar-Seville.

Panay News reported that the case stemmed from an August 2016 incident at the municipal hall of New Lucena during a visit by Seville to process her clearances.

“The Office finds no probable cause to indict respondent Sorongon for malversation of public property under Act 217 of Revised Penal Code. Wherefore, the complaint is hereby dismissed,” Ombudsman Samuel Martires said in a November 23 nine-page decision.

Seville claimed she saw Sorongon’s personal security Mario Tambacan and Roland Bordon carrying government-owned pistols.

She also alleged that an unauthorized mission order was issued to Tambacan and Bordon.

“The Office observes that there is no evidence that the firearm seen in the viral video was actually identified and verified to be the same pistol as indicated in the Mission Order issued to Tambacan during the course of the Philippine National Police’s investigation. Even complainant and her husband had not categorically stated that they actually saw a gun being carried by either Tambacan or Bordon during the alleged incident. Clearly, the nature and identity of the alleged firearm in the viral video had not been clearly established,” the Ombudsman ruling read.