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Dauis, Bohol mayor feels vindicated after Ombuds acquittal
« on: July 31, 2015, 07:53:09 AM »
Dauis mayor feels vindicated after Ombuds acquittal

The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has dismissed “for lack of merit” graft charges filed against Dauis Mayor Miriam Sumaylo by her publicly known political critic, Ephraim Bomediano.

“Complainant’s assertion is nothing more than an opinion formed without sufficient evidence,” said the anti-graft’s decision penned by graft investigator and prosecution officer Corazon C. Arnado-Carrillo.

Following the dismissal of the case, Sumaylo, who was represented by Atty. Lord “Popot” Marapao IV, told members of Bohol media that she feels vindicated now that the decision of the Ombudsman is out. Sumaylo has branded the complaint filed shortly before the May 2013 elections “as pure political harassment.”

Sumaylo said that even before the decision of the Ombudsman she has been confident that the complaint would not prosper since it was “false and baseless.” She added that her conscience is clear, stressing that  she did not violate any law as alleged by the complainant.

Her lawyer, Marapao, also commented that the filing of the said complaint was a “cheap political gimmick intended to maliciously harass the would-be mayor of Dauis.”

In the complaint before the Ombudsman, Bomediano claimed that Sumaylo, formerly the barangay chief executive of Tabalong, Duis before being elected as town mayor, had allegedly violated provisions of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act; RA 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees; and RA 1379, or the Law on Forfeiture of Unlawfully Acquired Property.

Complainant alleged that the properties of Mayor Sumaylo reflected in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) are “not commensurate with the income she declared. Bomediano also alleged that Sumaylo and her family has millions of pesos deposits in Metrobank and Philippine National Bank (PNB), and that the family had traveled to the United States, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

Bomediano further alleged that Sumaylo in 2009 had declared in her SALN P1.675 million as family’s gross income while her SALN reflected four properties.

In her SALN filed on Dec. 31, 2011, Sumaylo reflected 12 properties, three of which were inherited, and that she declared P3.469 as family’s gross income, court record said.

Complainant also claimed that Sumaylo “failed to disclose the house and lot located in Burgos St, Mandaue City, which was bought by the latter in 2010 in the amount of P2.2 million.”
But according to the Ombudsman, the complainant “(had) no evidence presented to support his (Bomediano’s) allegations.”

“The record reveals that all the questioned properties under the respondent’s name and her husband’s name, except the lots acquired in 2010 located in Mandaue City and Duis, Bohol, were bought before she assumed office as Punong Barangay in 2007,” the Ombudsman said in its resolution.

“This would prove that no public funds were involved in the acquisition of these properties,” the Ombudsman noted.

The Ombudsman added: “The record further reveals that the family of respondent started their lending business in 2000 and was incorporated with the SEC under the name of ‘Sum Finance Service Corporation’ in 2005.”

“Just like the properties bought before her assumption to office, the two properties (lots in Mandaue City and Duis, Bohol) bought in 2010, while it may be true that these properties were under the spouses’ name just like the other properties, were clearly acquired using the money from their lending business and placed in trust for the corporation,” the Ombudsman ruled.

The anti-graft court said that alleged money deposits of Sumaylo in Metrobank “is unverified” and “could not be given weight.”

“It is worthy to note that the money owned by the lending business, Sum Finance Service Corporation, need not be declared by respondent, the former having a separate and distinct juridical personality from the operators,” the court said, adding “besides, said lending investment was already disclosed by the respondent in her SALN.”

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