Lawmaker unfazed by inhibition

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Sunday, July 20, 2014


BAGUIO Representative Nicasio Aliping Jr. remained calm over charges hurled against him despite Benguet prosecutor William Bacoling's inhibition in the case filed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Aliping said it will not matter what particular prosecution office will handle his case as long as the truth comes out. The case was filed by the DENR against Aliping for alleged violation of the Philippine Forestry Code.

“We have to respect whatever decision they have undertaken so far as the case is concerned,” he said.

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Bacoling earlier inhibited from the case to dispel suspicion of bias, citing conflict of interest in the relationship of the prosecutor and two of the respondents who represent the alleged contractors in earth-moving activities in Kabuyao.

Bacoling is said to be a close relative of Bernard Capuyan of the BLC Construction and Aggregates, while Romeo Aquino of RUA Construction and Development Corporation is his brother in Masonic Fraternity.

Bacoling already submitted his formal inhibition and eventual assignment of the case to regional prosecutor Nonnatus Ceasar Rojas of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in La Union last July 14, including the record and documents of the case.

Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan said he was surprised with the inhibition of the Provincial Prosecutor's Office.

“Siya lang sana nag inhibit, it should not be the whole office,” he said.

Fongwan, however, said: “Sana mapunta sa isang area na neutral ang magiging action.”

Aliping, meanwhile, bared several factors could have affected the water sources of the Baguio Water District.

He said this was based on the ocular inspection of the Environmental Management Bureau on July 18.

“It was a fruitful one,” Aliping said, adding “it was established that there are other factors in the area.”

It was earlier alleged that aside from the excavation and the road construction near Aliping's property, vegetable growers and small-scale mining activities may have also contributed to the devastation of the Amliang water sources.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 21, 2014.

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