Monico Puentevella cleared of malversation
(The Philippine Star) - April 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Ombudsman Samuel Martires approved on Feb. 7 the dismissal of the complaints filed against former Bacolod congressman Monico Puentevella over the hosting of the Bacolod leg of the 2005 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

“There was clear and unjustified delay that attended the FIO’s (Field Investigation Office) fact-finding investigation… hence the body is constrained to dismiss (the charges for failure of accountable officer to render accounts and malversation of public funds) in observance of Puentevella’s constitutional right to speedy disposition of the cases filed against him,” the ombudsman said.

The anti-graft agency said it considered the “length of delay, reasons for the delay, assertion or failure to assert such right by the accused and the prejudice caused by the delay,” in evaluating the cases.

The cases were endorsed to the anti-graft body in 2009.The FIO terminated its fact-finding investigation in 2014.     

“Records fail to show that the FIO was able to justify why it incurred a delay of five years in terminating the fact-finding investigation,” the joint order noted.

Puentevella said he is grateful that the case has been resolved. 

“For the past 10 years, my colleagues and I have been unfairly subjected to trial by publicity.  This dismissal is a welcome vindication and only shows that the filing of those cases were politically motivated and meant to mislead the public from the resounding success of our hosting of the SEA Games.  I am glad that this is over and we can move on with endeavors that really matter for Bacolod City,” he said.

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