Fuentebella: I’m ready to prove SALN rap falseBy Juan Escandor Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
NAGA CITY—Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella is ready to prove there is no truth to allegations that he failed to disclose 22 pieces of property in his 2010 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), his defense lawyer said.
Lawyer Juanito Velasco said he would present the needed documents before the Office of the Ombudsman to disprove charges that Fuentebella deliberately failed to disclose several pieces of property in his SALN filed on Dec. 31, 2010.
“While we have yet to receive a copy of the complaint, let it be said that Deputy Speaker Fuentebella has been dutifully filing his SALNs in full compliance with the requirements of the law and such guidelines on SALNs like those issued by the Civil Service Commission,” said Velasco in an e-mail to the Inquirer.
The eight-page complaint against Fuentebella was filed on Aug. 17 at the Ombudsman for South Luzon by Francisco Ramirez Tria III, a former councilor in Sagnay, Camarines Sur, and an officer of a cooperative in the same town.
Velasco accused Tria of allowing himself “to be used by a political personality in filing the harassment suit” against the deputy speaker.
“The group associated with the complainant (Tria) had drawn criticisms from the people of Camarines Sur for saying unsavory things against the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo before his demise,” said Velasco.
In his statement, Velasco asked, “Can people be blamed for thinking that this group just wants to divert attention away from their attacks on Secretary Robredo by generating publicity from their complaint against Representative Fuentebella?”
Velasco, however, did not identify the political personality he mentioned in his letter.
In the 2010 elections, Tria lost to Evelyn Fuentebella, wife of the deputy speaker, in the mayoral elections in Sagnay.
Sagnay is one of the 10 towns in the fourth district of Camarines Sur where Fuentebella is on his last term as representative in Congress. The other towns are Caramoan, Garchitorena, Goa, Lagonoy, Presentacion, San Jose, Siruma, Tigaon and Tinambac.