Ombud clears Toledo CH employee from plaint
Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - June 2, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas has cleared an employee of Toledo City Hall from criminal and administrative complaints filed against her for having two husbands.

Rowena Omambac, assigned at the Community Affairs and Development Office of the Office of the City Mayor in Toledo City, can now heave a sigh of relief after she was cleared from the criminal and administrative complaints filed against her.

Citing insufficiency of evidence, graft investigation and prosecution officer Antonio Yap dismissed the cases for falsification of public documents, bigamy, and dishonesty/grave misconduct against Omambac.

The complainant was filed by Abeline Plaza, another City Hall employee, who alleged that in 1979, Omambac was legally married to Raul Arnade but contracted another marriage in 1994 with Epifanio Omambac.

“While it was true that an annulment was already pending before the court, and granting that said petition would be decided declaring the second marriage to be null and void, however, it was very clear that at the time when she contracted the second marriage, she was still married in the eyes of the law,” she said.

Plaza added that the act of respondent in contracting another marriage was a violation of falsification of public documents, bigamy and dishonesty. The respondent allegedly declared herself single in the documents she submitted before the court for a civil wedding with Epifanio.

“She should have waited for the judicial declaration of the nullity of her first marriage before she contracted another marriage,” the complaint reads.

In her counter-affidavit, respondent admitted having contracted marriage in 1979 with Arnade and in 1994 with Omambac.

However, she said she cannot be held accountable since the said event happened before she became a government employee. She was employed in 2000.

“It is my humble understanding that this office has the power to investigate only on cases pertaining to illegal, unjust, improper acts which are committed by a public officer or employee during his/her incumbency in office,” Omambac explained.

Omambac added that complainant filed the charges to get back at her after she earlier filed a concubinage case against Plaza and her husband Epifanio for an alleged illicit affair. But, Plaza denied this.

Based on the foregoing evidences, Yap said he found no “essential element” to hold respondent criminally and administratively liable as there was no evidence that she took advantage of her position when she allegedly committed the “questioned act.”

Aside from that, he said the complainant executed an affidavit of desistance that affected the credibility and weight of the allegations. Plaza claimed that there was already a settlement between her and Omambac.  (FREEMAN)

ABELINE PLAZA ANTONIO YAP CITY HALL COMMUNITY AFFAIRS AND DEVELOPMENT OFFICE OF THE OFFICE OF THE CITY MAYOR EPIFANIO EPIFANIO OMAMBAC MARRIAGE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN OMAMBAC RAUL ARNADE
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