Ombudsman dismisses graft case vs Cotabato gov
KIDAPAWAN CITY –– The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed for lack of evidence the graft complaint against Cotabato Governor Nancy A. Catamco over an alleged fertilizer scam committed long before she entered politics.
Catamco, shown in the file sheet as Nancy Perez, was among the nine accused of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act over a transaction on the supply of fertilizer with the government in Lazi town, Siquijor province in 2004.
Catamco, the former wife of businessman Pompey Perez, used to serve as general manager of Perezbros Company, a supplier of agricultural products. She won as Cotabato province’s 2nd district representative only in 2010 and got reelected to the post up to 2019.
Aside from Catamco and Pompey Perez, also charged in the alleged “fertilizer fund scam” were Mayor Orville Ano-os Fua of Lazi, Siquijor, Municipal Accountant Ana Marie Sumalpong-Monte, town Treasurer Rose Marie Villacampa Tomogsoc, Municipal Budget Officer Iva Ypil Marchan, Municipal Engineer Nutalio Bungcawel Jumayan, Private
Secretary Sue Agnes Castillon, and Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Teodoro Jumadla, Jr.
In the resolution issued on January 27 and signed by Rayman L. Rafael, assistant special prosecutor II, and Tirso Q. Vargas, assistant special prosecutor I, the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed the case against
“The only evidence which connects the accused-respondent Perez (referring to Catamco) to the registered partners of Perezbros is her being named as the general manager in the Articles of Partnership.
Aside from (this), there is no other proof on record that even tends to show that she participated in the transaction or otherwise authorized the participation of Perezbros,” the resolution said.
The resolution said being named as a partner and general manager of the company involved in the case was not enough evidence to support her involvement in it.
“The circumstances that the Articles of Partnership named Perez as a partner and general manager alone does not suffice as prima facie evidence to support the finding that a probable cause exists against her, much less that she conspired with her co-respondents,” said the resolution.
The Ombudsman also recommended that the information filed with the Sandiganbayan be amended by deleting the name, “Nancy Perez.”
“(I am h)appy and humbled with the resolution of the Ombudsman,” Catamco posted on her Facebook page after she was told of the decision. “I consider it a perfect advanced Valentine’s gift.”
Edited by LZB
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