Subic execs, Olongapo prosecutor at loggerheads
OLONGAPO CITY—Officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) have asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate City Chief Prosecutor Emilie Fe de los Santos, accusing her of bias against SBMA.
Lawyer Randy Escolango, SBMA administrator for legal affairs, said the agency could not obtain impartial judgment from De los Santos regarding complaints filed against SBMA employees.
De los Santos, said Escolango in a March 10 to the justice department, has been biased against SBMA officials and employees, especially in the agency’s law enforcement department, after she questioned SBMA authority to investigate and file charges for crimes committed inside the free port.
De los Santos had charged SBMA law enforcers with murder, robbery, child abuse and acts of lasciviousness “while in the performance of their duties,” Escolango said.
Reached by phone, De los Santos denied the allegations against her. “I don’t want to talk ill about him (Escolango),” she told the Inquirer.
“SBMA cannot expect a fair and properly deliberated ruling on any of the cases involving SBMA pending in De los Santos’ office,” Escolango wrote Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas.
He also complained about what he called the “unprofessional conduct” of De los Santos, citing an incident when he and the prosecutor met at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Tagaytay City on Feb. 26.
De los Santos, Escolango said, had informed him that she would dismiss a complaint he filed at her office against a locator in the free port and that he should settle with the defendant instead.
He said the prosecutor’s words were “a clear showing of lack of professionalism, impropriety in handling the present complaint of SBMA and misconduct in the performance of her bounded duties as a public prosecutor.”
He claimed that De los Santos showed “partiality in favor of the locator and evident bad faith.”
Escolango asked Caparas to transfer all proceedings, including current motions and complaints, involving SBMA to the DOJ office in Manila for resolution.
De los Santos confirmed that she met Escolango during the PNPA adoption rites but denied that she asked him to settle his complaint with the free port locator.
“I don’t even know the name of the locator. I only asked him if he was the Escolango who has a pending case in my office. We are not friends but we are not enemies. I even consider him my ‘bok’ (brother) in PNPA Class ’89,” she said.
“I’m hurt that he’s doing this to me. God is my witness that I did not do anything wrong,” she added. Allan Macatuno, Inquirer Central Luzon
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.