Gov. Edgar Chatto has warned the public against intrigue about his and other officialsâ€™ supposed arrest, which is not true, over the joint venture case—an otherwise long ghost issue with a pattern of reincarnation in each election time.
Detractors, the governor further warned, are out to heighten their demolition work by other patent deceits and more lies, even wishful thinking or interpretation of event tailored fit for their ill motives .
Over the week, politically-charged critics repeatedly attempted to make the Boholanos believe that the governor and other capitol officials involved in the joint venture would be arrested and suspended by the Sandiganbayan.
The Ombudsman has not yet Â resolved the joint motion filed by Chatto and other provincial officials since last year, and there is, therefore, no legal basis for Sandiganbayan to enter the scene.
But, full of air, a lawyer consistently attacking the province seemed so sure of Chattoâ€™s arrest upon arrival at the Manila airport from the US, where the governor graced the 16thÂ Biennial Convention of the Confederation of Boholanos of the USA and Canada (CONBUSAC).
The detractor and his small group applied the same antic while Chatto was also abroad attending an international tourism event in Cambodia last year.
As in the past, the governor—not arrested either at the Manila or Tagbilaran City airport— remained a free man as he returned home Wednesday for the fiesta of his hometown Balilihan, again proving the critics to be â€œtrue only to their habit of lying.â€
As critics get more malicious in pursuing their motives, the triumph of values was underscored in a conversation with important fiesta guests Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso and Talibon Bishop Patrick Daniel Parcon.
Chatto felt disheartened in noting that values are sometimes an absent element regardless of oneâ€™s stature or prominence.
Bar topnotcher Victor dela Serna speculated Â that Â Chatto could be arrested and brought to the Sandiganbayan on account of the OmbudsmanÂ Â denial to the reconsideration motions filed by Rep. Rene Relampagos and Salcon executive Dennis Villareal.
The governor has not received any Ombudsman resolution resolving his own motion contrary to what the irresponsible critics have been harping to sow intrigue and confuse the public, according to the capitol legal office.
As it is untrue, the claim of warrant of arrest and suspension for the governor and fellow capitol officials is gravely malicious and totally misleading, said Provincial Legal Officer John Mitchel Boiser.
The latest Ombudsman resolution has been very clear in only resolving the reconsideration motions separately filed by the First District congressman and Salcon executive.
Salcon is the private sector and investor partner of the provincial government in the joint venture, a water and water development project hailed as a local best practice and a model initiative in the country.
For his part, Relampagos was â€œextremely disappointedâ€ upon learning from reports of the denial to his motion, but is â€œready to take the next stepsâ€ once he receives the resolution.
The dispositive portion of the resolution dismisses only the appeals filed by the congressman and joint venture private investor, the legal officer of the province further noted.
There has even been no arrest of Relampagos or Villareal as Chatto believes there are legal remedies available.
And while Relampagosâ€™ motion has been scrapped, he can bail himself out if there is a Sandiganbayan arrest order over the bailable complaint.
The congressman has 60 days to seek legal remedies either from the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court directly.
Then Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro had long dismissed in 2008 the complaint filed by the group of Dela Serna and Zotico Ochavilio, also a lawyer, and no motion for reconsideration had been filed by them to reverse the resolution.
Suddenly, in 2014 or six years after, new Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved a resolution reversing the dismissal even in the absence of any appeal to scrap the earlier resolution.
Dela Serna himself admitted that they did not formally question the decision by filing any proper appeal.
Relampagos and Villareal filed their separate motions to reconsider the dismissal while Chatto, Vice Gov. Concepcion Lim, Board Member Tomas Abapo, Jr. and others at capitol submitted their own in a joint motion.
There are other respondents, including former SP members and other former capitol officials who still work in the government, already in private life or have long been dead.
Chatto was the vice governor and presiding officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan while Lim and Abapo were board members when the SP authorized Relampagos, then governor, to seal the joint venture agreement with Salcon.
They filed their joint motion separate from Relampagosâ€™ because other than adopting the arguments in the appeal of the congressman, there are strong points applicable only to the SP.
These points include the role of the provincial board which is the granting of an authority to the provincial chief executive to enter into a contract.
The motion of Chatto and company is still unresolved, pending with the Ombudsman and, thus, there is no Sandiganbayan jurisdiction over the issue, much less any warrant of arrest or order of suspension.
Before the Ombudsman approval in 2008, the dismissal of the complaint had long been recommended at the Visayas level of the office in 2001.
No one yet could tell why the long delay—seven years from 2001 to 2008—in the central Ombudsman approval of the dismissal recommendation.