NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Perjury and Falsification of Public Documents violations were filed recently at the Ombudsman in Quezon City against Balilihan Mayor Puresa V. Chatto by Eladio Baliong representing the Bugwak Farmers Association and four other individuals.
The complainants alleged that Chatto filed an application for a water permit with the NWRB (National Water Resources Board) with allegedly false representations. The application touted that the water source is in Sto Nino
Balilihan but was in truth in Magsaysay Sevilla. The mayor also did not inform the Sevilla LGU about the water
permit application, disabling the town constituents from commenting or objecting to the application.
The accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit regarding a material matter, the petition
claimed, and was made before a competent officer authorized to receive and administer oaths.
The complaint said that the false claim represented one element of Perjury as the source’s location; holds
significant relevance within the context of the water permit application. The false statement was also made before a
competent officer and was done deliberately and willfully, they said.
Thus, the mayor should be criminally charged for the offense of perjury. Further, it was pointed out that the act
also constituted a falsification of public documents; violation that falls within the scope of Article 171 of the
Revised Penal Code (paragraph 6).
Finally, the complainants alleged that Mayor Chatto, being a public officer took advantage of her official
position, engaged in acts of falsification by providing an untruthful statement.
The case was reportedly referred to Ombudsman Cebu for disposition.
When contacted for comments, the mayor said she will await a copy of the complaint before she’ll issue any comment on the matter.