TAGBILARAN CITY – Gov. Edgar Chatto has repeated for the nth time that politics have something to do with the said graft case he and other accused are facing before the Sandiganbayan over what the complainants called anomalous deal on water and power utilities of Bohol with Salcon consortium. For a couple of his weekly press conferences, the governor still answering queries on the tirades against him by lawyer former governor Victor de la Serna in connection with the graft case.
Earlier, he told the said presscon that an unseen hand might be behind the said case. Chatto responded to the query hinting somebody must be supporting financially the complainants in the Criminal Case No. SB 15 CRM 0283 for violation of Republic Act 3019 filed before the anti-graft court he and others are facing. His answer was “your (one of the media) guess is as good as mine.”
The embattled governor also appeared to be repeating what he suspected that the case resurrected whenever election season is forthcoming. He warned the public about this in what could be a demolition job against him whenever election period is nearing
Earlier, Rep. Rene Relampagos said that the insinuation that he was at large was malicious. “While it is true that I was in the United States, I was not there with my family for whatever malicious implication the other party wants to make. I was there with my wife and Congresswoman Elisa Kho of the second district of Masbate to attend the DEMA Show upon the the invitation of the Department of Tourism,” Relampagos said.
Relampagos, chair of the House tourism committee, said in his press release earlier printed by this paper, flew into Florida in the US to participate in the Dive Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) on Nov. 3 – 8, 2015.
This is contrary to the report that he was at-large, he said.
Relampagos (1st dist) said he was shocked to learn that the joint venture agreement (JVA) with Salcon company about 15 years back, privatizing the former provincial-run Provincial Public Utilities Department, was revived by the Ombudsman.
He, however, said he has to deal with this because it’s going to be “damn if you do and damn of you don’t” situation.
He said he’s really surprised on this why it’s being resurrected by the same agency (Ombudsman office) that rejected it years ago. He expressed suspicion that somebody must have a hand in this though he did not explain.
The former governor said that this situation is in a “very highly irregular circumstances,” aside from “blatant disregard of procedures” that the agency might err in reversing its previous decision.
He said that then acting Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro junked on February 22, 2001 the said complaint against him and others for “no ground to justify their indictment in court.”
And he believes that the decision of the Ombudsman at the time it was dismissed was final since no motion for reconsideration was filed by the complainants. (rvo)