There are unique legal intramurals in the joint venture (JV) case worth learning by the Boholanos, according to Gov. Edgar Chatto.
This observation is topped by the fact that while his and fellow respondentsâ€™ appeal has not been resolved by the Ombudsman, the latter indicted them in an information to Sandiganbayan.
Provincial Legal Officer Mitchell John Boiser affirmed that the motion for reconsideration filed by Chatto and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) members has remained pending with the Ombudsman.
To recall, Chatto, Vice Gov. Concepcion Lim and incumbent and former SP members involved in the case filed their appeal separate from those of Rep. Rene Relampagos and Salcon executive Dennis Villareal.
The Ombudsman then issued a resolution but only on the reconsideration motion, which the anti-graft body denied, of Relampagos and Villareal.
The congressman even has a pending appeal with the Supreme Court (SC), but the Ombudsman at the same time haled them to Sandiganbayan.
Their lawyers said it is, therefore, very surprising for Chatto and the respondent SP members SP member that an information was filed at Sandiganbayan without their pending motion resolved first by the Ombudsman.
Being a lawyer himself, Chatto has been unfazed by this recent development.
But he called it â€œa learning experience for all Boholanos on unique legal intramurals.â€
For what more reasons, people in the legal circle have themselves observed that, first, the case was re-opened after six years from 2008, when it was dismissed by the Ombudsman, even without a motion filed by any party.
Second, the long period of 14 years to terminate the preliminary investigation of the case from the time of its filing in 2000 has constituted an inordinate delay as it has violated the constitutional right of the accused to due process.
Third, surprisingly, the Ombudsman information was approved just last October 21, filed before the Sandiganbayan on October 23 and published with photograph of the document in a local newspaper on October 25.
Likewise, it may be recalled that the Ombudsman issued separate clearances to Chatto, dated October 2, 2013, and former Board Member Felix R. Uy, dated July 22, 2009, indicating â€œNO PENDING CRIMINAL and ADMINISTRATIVE CASEâ€ against them.
Chatto was then the vice governor and SP presiding officer of the at that time of the creation of the joint venture, a water and power development project that has since dramatically solved the aged grave water and power problems in Tagbilaran City, Boholâ€™s capital.
The SP, as a collegial body, exercised due diligence in evaluating the proposal of the joint venture agreement and considered what could be the best for Bohol.
In fact, public hearings and consultations were conducted to allow maximum public participation in the process of the creation of what has also since been praised as a model local public-private partnership in the country. Â (Ven rebo Arigo)