Mayor’s foes told: Don’t get excited

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Friday, February 7, 2014


BACOLOD City Mayor Monico Puentevella is ready to face the graft charges filed against him before the Sandiganbayan, City Administrator Rolando Villamor said.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed the case information for violation of the Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Puentevella and two other respondents before the Sandiganbayan on Wednesday. [Read more here]

The case information will be raffled off among the five divisions of the Sandiganbayan on Friday.

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Villamor said accusers of Puentevella should not get excited on the possibility that the mayor will soon be suspended by the Sandiganbayan. He added that even if the suspension is mandatory once the case information is filed, it cannot be implemented automatically.

“Everyone deserves due process, including the former congressman of the lone district of Bacolod…Just relax because this will take time. There is a procedure to observe and follow,” Villamor said.

Villamor also said the mayor is not worried because the charge is bailable.

He added that after the information was filed, Puentevella's legal team worked to reverse the decision of the Ombudsman recommending the filing of the charge against him.

The mayor's legal team filed a motion for the judicial declaration of probable cause with the prayer that the Sandiganbayan dismiss the case to prevent the issuance of the warrant of arrest.

Former city legal officer Joselito Bayatan, one of the complainants against Puentevella, said that after the case is raffled, as a matter of procedure, the anti-graft court will issue a warrant of arrest because the filing of the information validates the formal charges against the respondents. [Read more here]

Suspension is also a matter of course, because under the law it is mandatory, he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 07, 2014.

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