Sandigan refuses to release Puentevella’s mugshots to Lopez

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


THE Sandiganbayan Fourth Division refused to grant the request of BacolodCity Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez to be provided certified copies of Mayor Monico Puentevella’s bail bond as well as copies of the mayor’s mug shots.

During the clarificatory hearing Monday, Lopez, who was also questioned why he appeared without a lawyer, was directed by Sandiganbayan chairman Gregory Ong to course all his requests to the Special Prosecutor’s Office and not directly to the Court.

He was warned that next time, if he does not follow the procedure, he will be cited for contempt.

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Lopez said he requested for certified copies of Puentevella’s bail bond and copies of his mug shot to prove that the justice system really works and that there is indeed a case against the mayor with the Sandiganbayan because there are people asking why he was not arrested.

There seems to be a misinformation from other quarters that Puentevella was not issued an arrest warrant but only the two other accused, he said.

He explained that the reason why Puentevella was not issued a warrant of arrest was because he had already been arraigned and had already posted a bail bond.

Copies of his bail bond and mug shots will prove that there is indeed a case against him, Lopez said.

The criminal case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against Puentevella involved the alleged procurement of overpriced computers for more than P25 million using his Priority Development Assistance Fund when he was still congressman.

Puentevella had earlier suspected that Lopez was behind the efforts to have him suspended by following up his pending cases at the Ombudsman.

Lopez wrote the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division last month requesting for the speedy disposition of Puentevella’s case.

He said, however, it was only in the last days of March that he followed up Puentevella’s cases after he learned his job order casuals were terminated by the city government even if he had supported all the mayor’s requests in the City Council.

The Sandiganbayan had denied the motion for review for judicial determination of probable cause in the criminal case filed against Puentevella and his two co-accused, and ordered warrants of arrests issued against the accused.

Charged along with Puentevella are the late Victoriano Tirol Jr., regional director of the Department of Education, and supplier Jessie Garcia, chairman of Merryland Publishing Corporation, after the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict them for acting in violation of R.A. 3019, or the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. (CNC)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 29, 2014.

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