No arrest warrant for Puentevella-A A +A
Friday, April 4, 2014
THE Fourth Division of Sandiganbayan has ruled that no warrant of arrest will be issued against Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella, a respondent in the criminal case related to the alleged computer scam.
The mayor said in a press conference Thursday that the ruling is contained in a resolution issued by the Fourth Division last March 31.
Puentevella just arrived from Singapore where he attended the joint conference of mayors of emerging cities from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore from March 31 to April 1.
He provided reporters copies of the minutes of the proceedings of the Sandiganbayan presided by Associate Justices Gregory Ong, Jose Hernandez, and Mari Cristina Cornejo that revealed the dispositive portion.
The resolution read: “Let the corresponding warrant of arrest be issued against all the accused herein except for accused Monico Puentevella considering the accused had earlier posted bail for his provisional liberty as one of the conditions before he was allowed to travel abroad.”
The Fourth Division denied the petition filed by Puentevella’s lawyers for the judicial determination of probable cause.
City Administrator Rolando Villamor said that while their motion was denied, the Sandiganbayan did not include the name of Puentevella in the list of accused to be issued with warrant of arrest.
The Fourth Division resolution pointed out that there was no concrete evidence on record to support the assertion of the respondents, that is Puentevella and his two co-accused, that the procurement of the subject IT packages was made upon the recommendation of the Bid and Awards Committee (BAC) as in fact, the records are devoid of any BAC resolution recommending direct contracting.
“The Court has reviewed the record and find the assertion (of the prosecution) to be well founded,” it added.
The Fourth Division also said that for the purpose of determining the existence of probable cause for the issuance of warrant of arrest, the justices ruled they are well satisfied that “it exists.”
Villamor said that since Tirol died recently the case against him will be extinguished.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 05, 2014.