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‘Innocent’ solon leaves fate to Senate head

  • Written by Bernadette E. Tamayo
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 332

SENATOR Joel Villanueva said   it will be up to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III to act on the order of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales dismissing him from government service.

Morales’ order stemmed from Villanueva’s alleged involvement in the alleged irregular use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) during his term as party-list representative.
 
The Ombudsman had found him guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service.
    
“This is an old case when I was a representative of CIBAC in Congress. As far as I can remember, as a minority congressman then, I did not receive that amount,” said Villanueva.
    
“In addition, the NBI has already made a conclusion that the signatures on the related documents were forged. One of the documents even used a Buhay partylist letterhead, when I was representing CIBAC partylist,” he said.
    
He already filed a motion for reconsideration before the Ombudsman. “In any case, my faith is strong in the judicial system and in time, justice will be served.”
    
Pimentel said that he had received Morales’ order as early as last Nov. 2 which indicated that he must submit a compliance report on the order to the Office of the Ombudsman within 30 days.
    
But since Villanueva has a pending motion before the Ombudsman regarding his dismissal order, Pimentel said that he will wait first for Morales’ action on Villanueva’s petition.
    
Pimentel said that he will refer the matter to Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III considering that he also asked the latter to study the suspension order of the Ombudsman on Sen. JV Ejercito.
 
But Ejercito had already opted to serve his 90-day suspension which arose from his approval to purchase high-powered firearms, using calamity funds, when he was still mayor of San Juan City.
    
He claimed that the firearms were bought to beef up the security force in San Juan City against robbery syndicates victimizing food establishments, especially at night.