Misamis Oriental ex-governor vows no political retribution
After Sandigan acquittal

Misamis Oriental ex-governor vows no political retribution

/ 08:59 PM December 02, 2023

Misamis Oriental ex-governor Oscar Moreno vows no political retribution

Former Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno speaks at a press conference. (Jigger J, Jerusalem/Inquirer Mindanao)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Former Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno vowed not to get back at his political opponents who allegedly engineered the filing of pent-up graft charges against him for procurement transactions during his time as governor of Misamis Oriental province.

Moreno made the declaration after the Sandiganbayan Second Division trashed on Friday the charges of graft and falsification of public documents against Moreno and six other former provincial officials of Misamis Oriental where he served as governor from 2004 to 2013 before taking the helm of this city from 2013 to 2022.


“Let it rest with this (decision). Of course I was hurt. Of course I shed many tears. But now, what is predominating me is my strong and indomitable determination to be a public servant,” said Moreno.


“Public service is what counts in a politician’s life. As the late Emmanuel Pelaez had said, public office is an apostleship of sacrifice and service. (And) I draw consolation from those words,” Moreno saids.

The charges against Moreno were filed with the Ombudsman in December 2017 and February 2018 by a certain Antonio Nuñez, stemming from the findings of a special audit in 2014 by the Commission on Audit which found supposed irregularities in the provincial government’s rental of excavator, trailer truck, fuel tanker and vibratory roller from 2007 to 2012.

READ: CDO mayor Oscar Moreno faces fresh graft raps

Also charged were former provincial accountant Divina Bade; former provincial general services officer Elsie Lopoy; members of the Bids and Awards Committee at the time of the transactions, namely, provincial legal officer Cancio Guibone, provincial budget officer Elmer Wabe, provincial administrator Patrick Gabutina, assistant provincial engineer Rolando Pacuribot, and provincial agriculturist Danilo Maputol; and administrative aide Leemar Tinagan.

The COA had noted that the procurement of rental services for vibratory roller and excavator did not undergo public bidding.

READ: Charges filed vs son of CDO Mayor Moreno

The agency’s auditors also said that the procurement of rental services through shopping for a fuel tanker and a trailer truck was rigged because the firms that supposedly gave price quotations denied doing so, hence the charges for falsifying public documents.

In acquitting the accused, the anti-graft court’s 81-page ruling pointed out that while “the accused dispensed with the public bidding, they were not shown to have done so with fraudulent or corrupt intent, but to hasten the procurement of heavy equipment.”


“There appears to be no injury or damage caused to the government, since the rental rates under the modified duration of lease did not exceed the prevalent rates for rental of heavy equipment and the infrastructure projects were in fact completed to the benefit of the public,” the ruling further said.

The court also found not enough evidence to convict the accused of falsifying public documents.

The ruling was penned by Associate Justice Oscar Herrera Jr., chair of the Second Division, and concurred by Associate Justices Edgardo Caldona and Arthur Malabaguio.

Herrera lifted the hold departure orders against all accused and ordered all their respective cash bonds released.

Moreno lamented that had they been informed of the COA special audit team’s findings, it could not have taken this long to settle the issue.

“I thank God for this vindication and I also thank the Sandiganbayan for letting justice prevail. A decade of legal burden has been lifted!” said Moreno.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

He noted that the charges against him cropped up after a political upset in the 2013 midterm election when he defeated incumbent Mayor Vicente Emano.

TAGS: graft case, Oscar Moreno

© Copyright 1997-2024 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.