Ombuds probes Bohol councilor on lechon extortion

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Ombuds probes Bohol councilor on lechon extortion

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The Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas) acted on a complaint filed by a quarry operator against a Municipal Councilor of Alburquerque for “demanding Thirty Thousand Pesos and then solicited one roasted pig or lechon” in exchange for the termination of an ongoing Sangguniang Bayan (SB) investigation on illegal quarrying.

Municipal Councilor (Kagawad) Adriana B. Milo is now under investigation by the Ombudsman on the basis of a complaint filed by Reniero J. Balandra for violation of section 7(d) of Republic Act (RA) 6713 known as the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees”.

In a six-page criminal and administrative complaint-affidavit, Balandra accused Milo, in her official capacity as municipal councilor and member of the SB of Alburquerque for demanding PhP30,000.00 and “soliciting the lechon from me” while he was under investigation by the SB in connection with his alleged illegal quarrying activity in his property in Barangay Tagbuane.

A quarry is a site where rock, sand, and gravel are extracted by quarrying used for construction known as aggregates. These extraction activities require permits from the local government units and government agencies and must conform to the comprehensive land use plan of the area.



According to Balandra, the PhP30,000.00 was Councilor Milo’s demand for a share of the proceeds of his quarry business and the lechon was for the 2016 Christmas party of the SB.

Despite acquiring a permit from the Office of the Governor through the Bohol Environmental Management Office (BEMO), Balandra succumbed to the alleged pestering of Milo by coughing up PhP20,000.00 which he gave at her house, according to the complaint-affidavit.

According to Balandra, the acts of Councilor Milo is “tantamount to extortion, blackmail, and mulcting by a public officer.”

The Ombudsman (Visayas) informed Balandra on August 3, 2017, that his complaint against Councilor Milo filed on July 10, 2017 “has been docketed as OMB-V-C-17-0291 and OMB-V-A-17-0294” and “these cases shall be assigned to an investigating officer who will act thereon accordingly.”



However, Councilor Milo, when asked by the Chronicle of her reaction to Balandra’s accusations admitted that she only claimed PhP20,000.00 as a right of way payment for the use of part of her property for Balandra’s quarrying activities.


Milo also revealed to the Chronicle that it was Balandra who offered her PhP30,000.00 in return for dropping an ongoing SB investigation of his alleged illegal quarrying business.

Concerning the issue of her alleged solicitation of one lechon for the SB Christmas party, Councilor Milo disclosed that it was Balandra who offered to donate one roasted pig.



According to Milo, she paid PhP2,500.00 for the lechon and made emphatic to Balandra that her purchase and acceptance of the roasted pig has nothing to do with the quarry investigation and was welcomed “without strings attached”.

The day after the SB Christmas Party, during the SB’s regular session on December 19, 2016, held at Alona Land in Panglao, the minutes showed that Councilor Milo acknowledged the lechon of Balandra during the party as “unplanned” since it was Governor Edgar Chatto that was supposed to donate the lechon.


According to the minutes, Balandra went to her residence to inquire about the status of the investigation and offered to donate one lechon for their Christmas party which she accepted “with no string attached and no demand whatsoever from him.”

But Milo did not mention that she paid for the lechon that Balandra offered which prompted a personal opinion by Councilor Dr. Cirilo Jalad to “refrain from soliciting or requesting any favor from Mr. Balandra for delicadeza sake and avoid coloration of the issue.”

Milo also told the Chronicle that she has not received any communication or documents from the Ombudsman related to the complaint of Balandra.


Two affidavits executed by Junray Orevillo and Junry Teves, both employees of Balandra stated that sometime in December 2016, they were ordered by Balandra to slaughter and roast a pig and deliver the lechon to Councilor Milo including PhP5,000.00 cash.

Upon receiving the lechon and the PhP5,000.00, Councilor Milo told Orevillo and Teves that Balandra still has a balance of Php5,000.00 and reminded the two employees a week later when they passed at her residence.

Section 7(d) of RA 6713 bars public officials and employees from soliciting or accepting, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office.

According to Balandra, a copy of the Ombudsman letter containing the docket numbers of his complaint was furnished to the SB. (Chito M. Visarra)

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