Ombudsman junks case vs Cabinet exec’s pa
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman has junked a criminal case against Presidential Communications Office chief Martin Andanar’s father and is now moving for the withdrawal of the complaint it filed before the Sandiganbayan four months ago.

Ombudsman probers decided to reverse their earlier finding of probable cause after former interior undersecretary Wencelito Andanar proved that he did not violate Republic Act 6713 by failing to declare some properties in his statements of assets and liabilities and net worth (SALNs) in 2004 and 2005.

Prosecutors are asking the Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division to allow the withdrawal of the criminal complaint lodged against the former government official in July.

The ombudsman, in reversing its earlier ruling, said the respondent was able to prove that through a waiver of rights agreement executed in 1999, ownership of all the properties in question were transferred to his five children.

“Such being the case, respondent was justified in not declaring subject property in his 2004 and 2005 SALNs and did not violate Section 8 of RA 6713,” the anti-graft agency said.

The case against Andanar’s father reached the Sandiganbayan because of the Office of the Ombudsman’s rule that cases can be filed before the anti-graft court even if its findings are still under appeal through a motion for reconsideration.

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