Poison letter vs prov'l prosecutor circulates

() - November 19, 2009 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - A dispute over a ceiling fan and a room at the Cebu Provincial Prosecutors Office has resulted to the circulation of a poison letter against provincial prosecutor Pepita Jane Petralba yesterday.

The letter, which Assistant Regional State Prosecutor Vicente Mañalac later claimed he authored, was circulated in the different branches in court. It says everything that is happening to him is a result of a “professional jealousy.”

Mañalac, in an interview, admitted that he was the one who wrote the letter and even called it his “own newspaper.”

But Petralba was seemed not affected at all, saying she does not want to dignify what Mañalac has written and “does not want to give time on these things.”

“Daginoton pa na nako siya?” she said explaining that the letter was an offshoot of one of her memorandums asking Mañalac to turn over one of the cubicles of the provincial prosecutors office that he is occupying for the moment for the reason that there are two new prosecutors that were added.

 Petralba also said that she wants an investigation on the alleged “illegal transactions” using the name of the provincial prosecutor’s office allegedly perpetrated by Mañalac.

Petralba has been gathering evidences to prove that Mañalac was indeed issuing subpoenas and summons to debtors of a money-lending company. This, according to Petralba, may be the reason he refused to vacate the place.

Mañalac, however, said it is part of the Department of Justice Action Center’s purpose to serve public who need legal assistance and that he even consulted already the head office of DOJAC about it.

“She sees it as something illegal because maybe she disagrees with the interpretation of the word public,” he said.  

Because of the issue, Mañalac has filed an administrative and criminal case last week before the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas against Petralba.

He cited Petralba for “insubordination, defiance, malicious mischief, unjust vexation” and violating Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Elpidio Javier, maintenance officer at the Palace of Justice was also charged for allegedly carrying out the order to remove the ceiling fan.

Petralba said she decided to remove the ceiling fan after the prosecutor failed to switch it off after office hours. She said this happened for four straight days, which she said was an act of negligence that could start a fire in the building. The old ceiling fan also had to be replaced, she added.

When the matter was raised to the attention of Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Meinrado Paredes, the latter ordered security guards to switch off the circuit breakers of offices after office hours as a precaution against accidental fire.

Mañalac admitted he forgot to switch off the fan after leaving the office. – Jasmin R. Uy/WAB    (FREEMAN NEWS)

 

ALAC ASSISTANT REGIONAL STATE PROSECUTOR VICENTE MA BUT PETRALBA CEBU PROVINCIAL PROSECUTORS OFFICE CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL STANDARDS DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ACTION CENTER ELPIDIO JAVIER JASMIN R NTILDE OFFICE PETRALBA
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