Ombudsman junks cases vs ex-Bacolod solon


The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed the criminal charges filed against former Rep. Monico Puentevella over the P50.5-million funds of the Bacolod Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee.

Puentevella hailed as welcome vindication the dismissal of the cases filed against him, adding that they were politically motivated and meant to misled the public from the resounding success of country’s hosting of the SEA Games in 2005.

Panay News reported that the Ombudsman Central office reversed and set aside the 2016 order of former Ombudsman Conchita Morales after the respondents filed their motion for reconsideration.

The first case with OMB-V-C-140092 was filed by the Field Investigation Officer Ombudsman Visayas on 2014 against Puentevella and two private individuals, Edwin Javellana and Eric Loretizo. The other case was filed by Samuel Montoyo Sr. in 2015 for malversation of public funds, anti-graft and corrupt practices act, failure of accountable officer to render accounts, and illegal use of public funds and property.

“There was clear and unjustified delay of the Field Investigation Office (FIO) fact-finding investigation,” Ombudsman Samuel Martires said in a joint order.

In determination of whether Puentevella’s right has been violated, Martires explained, “The Ombudsman considered the length of delay, the reasons for the delay, the assertion of failure to assert such right by the accused, and the prejudice caused by the delay, as attendant factors to its evaluation.”

The cases, he added, were first endorsed to the anti-graft body in 2009 but the FIO only terminated its fact-finding investigation in 2014 when it filed its complaint before the Ombudsman in the Visayas.