Benguet prosecutor inhibits from Aliping case

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Friday, July 18, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- The Benguet Prosecutors' Office has inhibited from resolving the complaints filed against Baguio City Representative Nicasio Aliping Jr. for violation of the Philippine Forestry Code.

On July 14, Prosecutor William Bacoling submitted at the Regional Prosecutors Office in La Union his formal inhibition and eventual assignment of the case to Regional State Prosecutor Nonnatus Ceasar Rojas.

Last month, Octavio Cuanso, acting Benguet provincial environment and natural resources officer, on behalf of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Cordillera regional office filed criminal charges for violations of the Philippine Forestry Code against Aliping and contractors Bernard Capuyan of BLC Construction and Aggregates, Romeo Aquino of RUA construction and Development Corporation and William Go, of Goldrich Construction.

Bacoling said conflict of interest prompted him to inhibit from the case. "The respondent Bernard Capuyan, is a close relative of my deceased wife, Edith Capuyan and that respondent, Romeo Aquino, is a brother in the Masonic Fraternity."

"Considering such relationship and in order to dispel any suspicion and notion of biasness and partiality, the undersigned and this office is inhibiting from resolving the preliminary investigation of these cases," he further said.

Aliping and the three other respondents were slapped with violations for cutting, removing, gathering or collecting timber from a forest reservation, and unlawful occupation and destruction of forest and grazing lands.

The case is awaiting formal counter affidavits from the respondents after which, the Prosecutor’s Office was supposed to decide on the merits of the case if it will be elevated to the courts.

Records of the case have already been forwarded to the Office of the Regional Prosecutor in La Union for approval and assignment.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 19, 2014.

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