Ombudsman orders Padilla to respond to graft charges

By Mark A. Gomez


CAMARINES NORTE --- The Office of the Ombudsman for Luzon has ordered Camarines Norte Governor Ricarte Padilla to respond to the complaint filed against him for violation of section 3(e) of RA 3019 or violation of the Anti-graft and corruption practices Act.


In an order received by the Padilla camp recently, with case no. OMB-L-C-22-0169 (Michael A. Dolera Vs Ricarte Padilla for violation of section 3(e) of RA 3019 or violation of the Anti-graft and Corruption Practices Act), the Ombudsman directed the Camarines Norte Governor to file his counter affidavit together with the affidavit of his witnesses and other supporting documents within ten days from his receipt of the order, furnishing the complainant of the case involved.


According to the order, Padilla’s failure to file his counter affidavit within the aforesaid period will be deemed a waiver of his right to submit controverting evidence and the investigation shall proceed accordingly.


Thereafter, the case shall be deemed submitted for resolution on the basis of the evidence presented by the parties involved, whose presence may be dispensed with, unless otherwise required for clarificatory questioning, Ombudsman ordered.


The Ombudsman further ordered that no motion to dismiss, motion for bill of particulars or other dilatory motions shall be entertained.


Complaint


The complaint filed by Micheal A. Dolera is allegedly in relation to the pending constructions of government funded grand terminal and mall at Jose Panganiban during the reign of Governor Padilla as town mayor.


According to Dolera the project was allegedly funded with over 160M, generated through loans by the Local Government Unit of Jose Panganiban under the leadership of then Mayor Padilla.


Dolera said that it is vague why the project was delayed for 593 days from the target date of completion.


The Local Government of Jose Panganiban allegedly lost millions of pesos in revenue during the term of Governor Padilla as mayor.


Reports say that Governor Padilla will file his counter affidavit in due time.


The complainant against Padilla is a media practitioner designated as an acting Sannguninag Bayan member of Labo, Camarines Norte due to vacancy of the post caused by the suspension of then Mayor Joseph Ascutia and Vice Mayor Alvin Bardon, during the term of Ex- Govenor Egay Talldo.


As of this moment both Governor Padilla and Ex- governor Tallado have pending cases before the Ombudsman.