Ombudsman asks assessor, two others to file answer
Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - October 9, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has directed the Cebu provincial assessor and two of her subordinates to file their respective answers to the allegations filed against them.

Felix Navarro, a resident of Villa Corito Subdivision, Surigao City, earlier filed a complaint for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act and grave misconduct against Provincial Assessor Alma Sibonga, L-OO IV Epifania Montejo, and Local Assessment Operations Officer I Geraldine Tumulak.

In his complaint, Navarro said respondents were conspiring with each other in changing, amending, reconveying ownership of his real property located in Panadtaran, San Fernando, Cebu under Tax Declaration No. 0137-748 to No. 15771 in favor of Mercy Grauel based on spurious Deed of Absolute Sale.

“Sibonga, Montejo, and Tumulak did not exercise diligent and serious effort demanded for their duties and responsibilities to establish an in-depth examination and evaluation of the documents which serve as the basis of the sale,” read the complaint.

If the document was examined, Navarro said respondents could have detected that there were discrepancies in the dates of the document.

Navarro admitted that he and his wife signed a blank copy of a Deed of Absolute Sale of their real property as security of their loan without any intention to sell it to Grauel, the mortgagor.

“That would show to all and sundry that these documents were falsified by Grauel to suit her illegal purpose to own my aforementioned property,” he stated.

The Office of the Ombudsman, after finding enough grounds to proceed with the criminal and administrative investigation, has directed respondents to file their respective counter-affidavits within 10 days from receipt of the order.

If Navarro will file a reply-affidavit, he can, within the period of 10 days upon receipt of the counter-affidavit.

Failure to comply to file counter-affidavits within the prescribed period shall be deemed a waiver of their right to present evidence.

The anti-graft office added that they would not entertain any motion to dismiss or bill of particulars, and dilatory motions including but not limited to motion for extension of time, second motions for reconsideration and/or re-investigation.

The prohibited pleadings, the anti-graft added, shall be stricken off the records of the cases. (FREEMAN)

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