Villamor hopeful mayor won’t get arrest warrant-A A +A
Thursday, March 27, 2014
BACOLOD City Administrator Rolando Villamor is hopeful that Mayor Monico Puentevella will not be issued a warrant of arrest after making himself available during the conditional arraignment before the Fourth Division of the Sandiganbayan on March 25.
Puentevella is facing a criminal case for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices for the alleged questionable purchase of computer packages when he was still congressman.
The conditional arraignment was held after Puentevella requested permission from the Sandiganbayan to travel abroad citing the invitation he got for a conference of mayors of emerging cities from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore from March 31 to April 1.
The mayor pleaded not guilty of the charge and was made to pay the P90,000 for his bail bond and another P30,000 in relation to the original complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The arraignment was held without prejudice to their motion for judicial declaration of probable cause.
“As a matter of practice, during the arraignment, the accused is given a permit to travel abroad. Once a person is accused criminally, he has to undergo arraignment before he or she is permitted to leave the country. This means that there might be no more warrant of arrest for the mayor,” Villamor said.
However, a regular arraignment will still be conducted wherein all accused will be required to attend it.
After the Sandiganbayan resolves all pending motions, they will schedule the arraignment, Villamor said. (CNC)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 27, 2014.