Ombudsman junks malversation case vs. Tarzan, Boking, 2 others

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    ANGELES CITY – After more than 10 years, the Ombudsman finally dismissed the criminal and administrative charges filed against First District Rep. Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin, Mabalacat Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales and two others in connection with the alleged illegal disbursement of the solon’s Countrywide Development  Fund (CDF) amounting to some P8.3 million in 1997.

    In documents obtained yesterday, Graft and Prosecution Officer Jane So junked the malversation of public funds, dishonesty and misconduct charges against Lazatin, Morales, Mabalacat Municipal Treasurer Angelito Pelayo and Mabalacat Accountant Teodoro David for lack of merit. Pelayo died last year.

    Atty. Ma. Olivia Elena Roxas of the Ombudsman’s  Field Investigation Office filed the cases against them after the alleged illegal disbursement of funds to victims of the Mt. Pinatubo eruptions residing in the resettlement centers in Mabalacat.

    “The Commission on Audit (COA) suspended the said payments for various reasons. It was shown that the bulk of the expenditure went to Mt. Pinatubo victims in the form of relief assistance. However, the payrolls indicating that certain amounts were paid and received by alleged Mt. Pinatubo victims cannot be verified because their address were not indicated therein. Likewise, no Department of Social and Welfare and Development (DSWD) certification was attached to the authenticated recipients,” the decision said.

    But Lazatin, in his counter-affidavit, said a similar case was filed before the Third Division of the Sandiganbayan and was dismissed by the Honorable Court for lack of probable cause. He added that the case against them should be dismissed.

    “After making its own evaluation and taking into account the points raised by the parties, the Court is of the view that no probable cause exists against all the accused,” the decision added.


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