TAGBILARAN CITY – The Sandiganbayan first division has issued warrant of arrest against the accused in criminal case No. SBCRM0283, People of the Philippines versus Relampagos et al, on the alleged sale to Salcon group of companies of the former Provincial Public Utilities Department’s (PPUD) water and power systems then owned and managed by the provincial government.
But most of the accused of the said graft case filed by the Ombudsman at the Sandigabayan had already posted bail for their temporary liberty even before the warrant of their arrest was issued.
In its minutes of the proceedings dated November 2, 2015, the anti-graft court adopted a resolution for the said warrant of arrest in connection of said case.
“The Court finds that sufficient grounds exist for the finding probable cause for the purpose of issuing a warrant of arrest against the accused charged in the instant case,” after it examine the Information and evaluating the resolution of the prosecutor, the evidence and the records of the preliminary investigation.
The Resolution for the issuance of the warrant of arrest aginst the accused was signed by Justices Efren N. De la Cruz, chairman; Rodolfo A. Ponferada and Rafael L. Lagos of the first division of the Sandiganbayan.
The Sandiganbayan, earlier, issued a hold departure order (HDO) and directed the Bureau of Immigraiton “to hold the departure of the accused who is/are barred from leaving the country except upon prior approval from this Court.”
The same justices signed the said HDO based on the minutes of the court dated October 30, 2015, which is furnsiehd to Bohol News Today by one of the complainants, former governor Atty. Victor de la Serna.
It will recalled that the respondents are charged for of violation of section 3 (g) of the Republic Act 3019, as amended, otherwise known as Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, particularly Section 3, par. (g) of said that law that provides: “Entering, on behalf of the government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby.”
The said case has been raffled and went to first division of the anti-graft court, De la Serna said.
The complaint against Bohol officials arose from the alleged under-valuation of the assets of Provincial Public Utilities Department’s power and water systems of the provincial government when it was dealt with Salcon consortium under the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA).
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales signed the said criminal charge docketed as Criminal Case No. SB 15 CRM 0283 for violation of section 3 (g) of the Republic Act 3019, as amended, otherwise known as Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Section 3, par. (g) of said law provides that “Entering, on behalf of the government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby.”
Aside from Relampagos and Chatto, other respondents include former provincial board members Arnold R. Lungay, Isabelito B. Tongco, Concepcion O. Lim (now vice-governor), Eufrasio M. Mascarinas, Tomas D. Abapo, Jr., Felix R. Uy, former Provincia Legal Officer Atty. Inocentes Lopez and Salcon officer Dennis Villareal.
Relampagos was accused of the Salcon deal while he was the governor and Chatto as vice-governor when the SAlcon deal transpired at that time.
Also charged as respondents of the said case were former provincial planning and development officer Juanito G. Cambangay (deceased), Lopez and Dennis C. Villareal, officer of the Construction of Salcon International Inc., Salcon Power Corp, Inc., and the consortium of Salcon Philippines, Inc and Salcon Ltd. (rvo)