Davide vows to file graft case if Visayas Ombudsman ‘too scared’


Gubernatorial candidate Hilario “Junjun” Davide III yesterday said he is ready to “file the appropriate case” in the anti-graft court over what he called an obvious anomaly in the land filling of submerged portions of the Balili property in Naga City.

He said the discovery of ongoing reclamation work in the province-owned lot was “another offense” and constituted “obstruction of justice” by altering physical evidence of land that is the subject of a Sandiganbayan case.

Davide, a former Cebu city councilor and chairman of the Liberal Party’s province chapter, gave no date for his threat, a blow aimed at Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who is ending her final term in 2013 and running for congress in the 3rd district.

“If no one will take the cudgels, I am prepared to file the appropriate case at the soonest possible time,” Davide told reporters.

He said this was his personal vow “to restore transparency and accountability in the Capitol.”

Governor Garcia in an earlier interview said the reported discovery of ongoing reclamation work in the former Balili estate in a visit by Vice Gov. AgnestMagpale and Provincial Board Member Arleigh Sitoy was just a “publicity stunt” by her critics for the election.

In a press conference yesterday, Davide challenged private citizens and “civil society” to file a case.

He said no contract for reclamation passed through the Provincial Board, even as he questioned why “the governor is spending again” for the Balili estate in the amount of P27 million for the work.

He first expressed dismay that the Visayas Deputy Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol was “passing the buck” to his boss, Tanodbayan Conchita Carpio-Morales to decide on what to do with the discovery that underwater portions of the Balili property was being covered with limestone and soil by the Cebu provincial government.

The Sandiganbayan has yet to start the trial of Governor

Garcia and seven others facing graft charges for malversation of funds and entering into a grossly disadvantageous contract for the 2008 purchase of the Balili estate for P98.9 million.

Davide, who once worked as a graft investigator in the Visayas Ombudsman’s Office, said Apostol had the authority to act “motu proprio” or take the initiative to investigate on his own to determine the culpability of officials involved in the latest development of “covering up” submerged parts of the Balili estate.

“Murag nitalaw si Deputy Ombudsman Apostol. Nganong iya pa man gipasa (It seems like Deputy Ombudsman Apostol is scared to act. Why does he have to pass the buck? ),” he said in yesterday’s news conference.

Davide said the ombudsman has the power to immediately probe any reported anomaly without waiting for the filing of a formal complaint.

“The law in fact provides on its own, motu propio, the Office of the Ombudsman can investigate any matter especially reports of anomalies in the government labi na gyud kung kini naglambigit ug dagko gyud nga kantidad labi na kining Balili. Ang ma-prejudice gyud is ang interes sa katawhan (The ones who will be prejudiced in this case is the interest of the people),” he said.

Apostol on Thursday said he was written Morales to ask for advice on any action taken about the former Balili property case and to also clarify whether the reclamation of the property would affect the presentation of evidence for the prosecution in the graft case filed in the Sandiganbayan against Governor Garcia and seven other officials.

Davide said that if no one would dare stand up against the Capitol in connection with the backfilling of the 24.7 hectare site, he is willing to take the lead in filing a case against Capitol officials before the Ombudsman.

“This is my commitment to the Cebuanos to restore transparency and accountability in the Capitol… Klaro kaayo nga submerged underwater. Nganong ila man fillingan if yuta pa na? (It is clear that the property is underwater. Why then do they have to fill it up with soil?),” he said.

He said he knows his action would be labeled by the Garcias as politically motivated but “ I have always stood for transparent and honest government.”

Davide also defended Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and Provincial Boardmember Arleigh Sitoy’s initiative to visit and reveal what’s happening in the controversial property.

He said they were just doing their duty as elected officials of the province./Carmel Loise Matus Correspondent

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GG4T5UNZ3P7SCHSRNJ7PF5JZMM Jimmy

    Bakit hindi pa inaaresto yang gwendolyn garcia na korap..??? Obudsman sa visayas, huwag kayong patulog tulog…!!!!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WIWYLFLU4LPKS7B2ZLLRVFKS3Y vir_a

    Isog man ning taga Cebu. Karon talawan naman. Klaro na kaayo. Mahadlok pa gyod. Hawa na lang sa pwesto og makahimo sa iyang katungdanan

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDXEVEFHW2ZT5VWHDWBNM6XGE4 RyanE

    Just keep the “before” and “after” pictures for future evidence. Perhaps, video is even better, then post it to YouTube so that people including myself will see what’s the real score.

  • Eslazar

    It is unfortunate that Virginia Palanca Santiago had retired.  Apostol seems to be a legacy of Gloria and Gutierrez, assigned there to protect certain politicians.

  • http://twitter.com/wadjitzain coty

    ha ha a case was filed against a town mayor here in the Western Visayan Region VI just after the 2010 elections. nothing, absolutely nothing was heard from the “Ombudsman” ever since. we found out that he’s really a first cousin of one “Rip Van Winkle” but since he’s Iloilo City based, hindi s’ya natutulog sa pansitan, sa batsoyan s’ya tulog na tulog! derisive laughter! 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XFH3CDZSZKVLX4G74PJOQ3L64U Natx Bacalzo

    apostol did not chicken out. he’s only true to being an inutile and corrupt ombudsman. 

  • wakeupbayan

    Go on Mr Davide,,,,,, show them officials.  Just take care.   God bless !

  • santamaria_63

    Let’s wait and see if the topnotcher in Cebu better known as Cong. PJ Garcia will accept the challenge of Atty. Adi Sitoy father of PB Arleigh Sitoy for a debate this week at Fuente Osmeña. The issue is whether or not restoration or reclamation will be the correct word to be used in the Balili estate? Kun bakit nila ni reclaim sa halagang more or less P32M + 98.9 million = ? Sabi nang topnotcher na si PJ si Jun2 Davide at si Arleigh daw ay mga repeater sa bar exam. Hehehe, PJ will you please count your winning case to determine being a bar topnotcher. Tingnan natin kun may isa ba? Before you become a congressman we know the fact that you are not as rich from the start and you have a write-off loan from CFI? The same as your sister Gwendolyn – mga poor kayo di-ba? May utang pa nga si Gwen na P44M sa HSBC so, sa isang saglit lang mga milyonaryo na kayo tulad ni Winston? Madam Carpio Morales at Pres. PNOY pls.pls.pls. implement now the preventive suspension of Gwen. 

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