Guv hopes lawmaker’s case goes to Dagupan courts

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Monday, July 21, 2014


Maria Elena Catajan

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- All Benguet can do is hope for the best.

Governor Nestor Fongwan is hoping the Aliping case goes to Dagupan courts, in a bid to get fair and neutral proceedings.

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The governor, though dismayed over the recent inhibition of Benguet Prosecutors Office prosecutor William Bacoling, said there is nothing to be done but hope for a neutral venue to hear the case.

Fogwan said he hopes courts in Baguio City, where Aliping serves as a representative and Mountain Province, where the representative holds roots, be likewise ruled out.

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

Bacoling cited conflict of interest in inhibiting from the case, as one of the respondents of the case, Bernard Capuyan, is a close relative of his deceased wife, Edith Capuyan, and another respondent, Romeo Aquino, is his brother in the Masonic Fraternity.

Fongwan said although the reasons of Bacoling are valid, the entire provincial court should not have been inhibited.

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, Capuyan of BLC Construction and Aggregates, Romeo Aquino of RUA construction and Development Corporation and William Go, of Goldrich Construction.

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

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 22, 2014.

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