The labor secretary has applied to become the country's next chief graft buster. A STAR report earlier said that the labor secretary has a pending criminal case for graft and a pending administrative case for misconduct docketed in 2017 that are undergoing investigation and administrative adjudication.
Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas
Bello claims: I have no pending case at Ombudsman
Kristine Joy Patag (philstar.com) - June 20, 2018 - 11:43am

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Wednesday claimed that he has been cleared from pending criminal and administrative cases from the Office of the Ombudsman.

Bello said that on Tuesday, a day before he was set to face the Judicial and Bar Council for a public interview, he just learned that the “case has been resolved to our favor.”

The Labor secretary has applied to become the country's next chief graft buster.

A STAR report earlier said that the Labor secretary has a pending criminal case for graft and a pending administrative case for misconduct docketed in 2017 that are undergoing investigation and administrative adjudication.

Following the rules of the JBC, those with “with pending criminal or regular administrative cases” are disqualified “from being nominated for appointment to any judicial post or as Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman.” The JBC also orders the filing of a clearance or certification of pending or decided cases against the applicant from current employer as part of its application requirements.

But Bello, facing the JBC panel, said that his case dates back to 1988, on a contract involving Philippine Reclamation Authority where he served as general manager in 2003. The case involves "forfeiture of a performance bond when the said contract fell through." He said he was not able to act on the case because it was never brought to his attention. 

The Labor secretary said that he has inquired on the status of the case, asking for early resolution on the case in March this year.

They even requested for a status update on Tuesday, Bello said. “Fortunately, the case has been resolved to our favor,” he added.

Certification

After the public interview, Bello showed reporters the one-page certification issued by the Office of the Ombudsman.

“This certifies that as of 18 June 2018, our records show that Silvestre Hernando Bello III...has no pending criminal and administrative cases with the Office of the Ombudsman,” the one-page clearance issued by Graft Investigation Officer I Maria Agnes Forteza read.

Asked if he has already filed a clearance when he applied to the post, Bello gave an affirmative answer.

“I did submit something. This is the latest,” Bello said in Filipino.

The JBC closed its application on May 15, but Bello said that he has learned that the case against him was dropped only yesterday, June 19.

The public interview on other candidates for the post is ongoing as of this posting.

READ: High-profile cases for the next ombudsman

JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN SILVESTRE BELLO III
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