Chavez hits back at Gonzalez for resurrecting dismissed gun raps
MANILA, Philippines—Lawyer Francisco Chavez lambasted former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, on Thursday, for purportedly peddling “brazen lies” and maligning his name in blocking his nomination to the vacant Ombudsman post.
Chavez said former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s ally might have forgotten that he himself cleared Chavez of complicity in the alleged anomalous purchase of guns from Switzerland in 1986.
At the time, Chavez was the solicitor general while Gonzalez was the Tanodbayan, the predecessor of the Office of the Ombudsman.
“I think he must be suffering from cranial dystrophy because he already forgot that… he issued a resolution dated December 10, 1987 clearing me of any liability in that issue,” Chavez said over the phone.
“Why is he now turning around? He’s acting maliciously with the intent of casting aspersion on my person and honor, and in contravention of his own resolution,” he added.
In his letter to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Monday, Gonzalez said the former solicitor general bought firearms using public funds for his own personal use during the presidency of the late Corazon Aquino.
Gonzalez said Chavez was then frequenting Switzerland to help the government recover the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.
“However, due to the fact that I was suspended by the Supreme Court, which forced me to leave office, I was not able to pursue my investigation of Chavez,” Gonzalez said.
But Chavez said he had proof that he turned over the three handguns and three shotguns to the Office of the Solicitor General when he stepped down from office.
He said it was not true that Gonzalez failed to conclude his investigation after the high court suspended him from practicing law. He said he would file a comment with the JBC on Friday to answer the former justice secretary’s accusations.
“I will include in my comment the resolution he signed more than 20 years ago,” Chavez said.
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