Monday Jun, 01 2020 09:21:41 PM

Ombudsman clears Cot guv in graft complaint

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 22:30 PM Wed Feb 12, 2020
Edwin O. Fernandez
North Cotabato Gov. Nancy A. Catamco

KIDAPAWAN CITY - For lack of evidence, the graft complaint against North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco was dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman.

In a resolution, the resolution dismissing the complaint against Catamco (then named in the case as Nancy Perez) was signed by Rayman L. Rafael, assistant special prosecutor II; and Tirso Q. Vargas, assistant special prosecutor I, of the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Happy and humbled with the resolution of the Ombudsman, I consider it a perfect advance Valentine’s gift,” Catamco posted on her FB page after her lawyers apprised her of the development while she was busy attending to meetings and gatherings in quake hit areas in the province.

North Cotabato was rocked by three major quakes late last year and Catamco has been spearheading rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts of the provincial government.

Catamco was the erstwhile wife of businessman Pompey Perez of Perezbros Company, supplier of agricultural products where Catamco used to be the general manager.

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.

She was one of the nine accused for violating Section (c) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in a transaction the supplier and the government of Lazi Siquijor entered into in 2004 under Criminal Case No. SB 190CRM-0100 and OMB C-C-16-0381.

In its Sept. 26, 2019 resolution, the Sandigabayan 4th Division ordered the preliminary investigation of the case.

In the same resolution, the Ombudsman also recommended that the information filed with the Sandiganbayan be amended by deleting Catamco’s name which was “Nancy Perez.”

The resolution on Catamco (Perez) said: “The only evidence which connects the accused-respondent Perez to the registered partners of Perzebros and her being named as the General Manager thereof in the Articles of Partnership.”

It continued: “Aside from the said articles of partnership, there is no other proof on record that even tends to show that she personally participated in the transaction, or otherwise authorized the participation of Perzebros.”

“The circumstances that the Articles of Partnership named Perez as partner and its General Manager alone does not suffice as a prima facie evidence to support the finding that a probable cause exists against her, much less that she conspired with here co-respondents,” the resolution issued in January 27 said.

Catamco’s lawyers Gana Arienza Avisado Law Offices received copies of the resolution today, Feb. 12, 2020. (Edwin O. Fernandez)

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