Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Ahong Chan (Politiko Visayas courtesy)
By Junex Doronio
August 6, 2022
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Finding enough basis to proceed with the investigation of corruption and administrative cases against some local officials and private persons, the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has ordered Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan here and his co-respondents to file a counter-affidavit within 10 days upon receipt of the directive of the anti-graft body.
To recall, last Feb. 9 this year seven barangay captains led by Eduardo Cuizon of Barangay Bankal who is also president of the city’s Liga ng mga Barangay, sued the mayor for allegedly violating Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code or Malversation of Public Funds and Sections 3 and 4 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, over the purchase of more than P47 million worth of food items and non-food relief items from a supplier identified as a furniture exporter.
Chan had cried politics as the motive behind the filing of the case.
“The cases are based on evidence. We cannot file if we didn’t have evidence. It was their report that we used as the basis in filing the cases,” said lawyer Ferdinand Dungog, legal counsel of the complainants.
The Ombudsman-Visayas also ordered Chan and his co-respondents to furnish Cuizon and his fellow complainants with a copy of the counter-affidavit.
Signed by Philip C. Camiguing, Acting Director, Preliminary Investigation Administrative Adjudication and Prosecution Bureau for Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Dante F. Vargas, it also ordered that the respondents may file a reply-affidavit “within an inextensible period of TEN DAYS from receipt of the same.”
“Failure to comply as herein directed within the period prescribed by the rules of procedure of this Office, shall be deemed a waiver of the right to present the party’s counter-affidavit or reply-affidavit and the investigation shall proceed according to existing rules,” the joint order of the Ombudsman-Visayas said. (ai/mtvn)