3 prosecutors get 60-day suspension | Inquirer News
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Close  
  • share this

3 prosecutors get 60-day suspension

For ordering release of suspects in P6-M jewelry smuggling
By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:05 AM May 28, 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte has suspended for 60 days three government prosecutors for releasing from police custody three individuals who were arrested at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) for smuggling into the country some P6 million worth of jewelry.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra issued a memorandum on May 21 meting out the penalty against Pasay City Prosecutor Benjamin Lanto, Assistant State Prosecutor Florencio dela Cruz Jr. and Associate Prosecution Attorney Clementine Villanueva “upon the directive of the President.”

The three were among 10 government officials who were publicly called out by Mr. Duterte on May 17 for alleged involvement in corruption.

ADVERTISEMENT

Prima facie evidence

In a two-page memorandum, Guevarra told the three state prosecutors that there was prima facie evidence to indict them for gross neglect of duty, gross incompetence and inefficiency after they signed a resolution directing the police to free Customs officer Lomontod Macaband, Abraham Mimbalawang and his wife Bang-sa.

The three were held at Naia Terminal 3 on May 5 after they were caught carrying a bag containing some 1.9 kilograms of assorted jewelry from Dubai.

Guevarra also directed Lanto, Dela Cruz and Villanueva
to submit within 10 days their answer to the allegations against them.

“Otherwise, failure to submit the same shall be deemed
as a waiver of your right to be heard,” he said in his memorandum.

“Be reminded that your answers should contain an indication as to whether you elect a formal hearing. Noncompliance with this requirement shall be considered a waiver of such right,” Guevarra added.

Recommendations from IAU

He said he had instructed the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) of the National Prosecution Service, an agency under the Department of Justice, to make a recommendation based on the evidence submitted by the three prosecutors and IAU investigators.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a separate order, Guevarra named Pasay Deputy City Prosecutor Dolores Pulgo-Rillera as Lanto’s temporary replacement.

Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Benjamin Lanto, Clementine Villanueva, Florencio dela Cruz Jr., Menardo Guevarra, NAIA jewelry smuggling, Rodrigo Duterte, suspended prosecutors
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.