29.1 C
Sunday, April 21, 2024

Mayor cleared in land dispute

- Advertisement -

THE Department of Justice has contradicted the findings of the Ombudsman in holding Batangas Mayor Meynardo Sabili liable over administrative charges stemming from a land dispute.

The Ombudsman ordered the suspension of Sabili over administrative charge filed by 10 former clients, led by Oscar Camerino, last year but DoJ prosecutors have sided with the mayor and ordered Camerino’s criminal indictment over a deal involving a property   in Victoria Homes in Tunasan, Muntinlupa City.

In a seven-page resolution, the Justice department found probable cause to file case for estafa against Camerino.

Preliminary investigation showed that Camerino and other owners of three parcel of lands tapped Sabili as their lawyer in their property dispute case and agreed in October 2009   “to split the disputed property with complainant after payments to other parties were made.”

It was found that the respondent even forged an agreement with Sabili in March 2010 where he   gave a warranty that he “will not enter into any other contract disposing, encumbering, transferring, selling the shares of… and Meynardo Sabili … over the subject property after the execution of the agreement.”

- Advertisement -

“Despite these promises and representations on the part of respondent Oscar Camerino in favor of complainant [Sabili], which served as the basis for the complainant to participate in the above agreements, respondent Oscar Camerino still sold the land to respondent Felicidad D. Ong.   Thus, there is probable cause to hold respondent Oscar Camerino liable for the crime of estafa,” read the DoJ  resolution signed by Prosecution Attorney Loverhette Jeffrey Villordon and approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Miguel  Gudio Jr.

Sabili was then elected mayor in May 2010 for his first mayoral term.

The DoJ finding appeared to be contrary to that of the Ombudsman, which   found Sabili   guilty of the administrative charge of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and ordered him suspended for nine months upon complaint of Camerino and company.

The anti-graft office said Sabili   harassed Camerino and company   when he was already a mayor, “accompanied by armed men, even went to the subject property on 15 July 2012” and uttered threatening words to them.

However, Sabili immediately elevated the issue before the Court of Appeals which has yet to act on his petition for issuance of a temporary restraining order.

The mayor also stressed that the Office of the City Prosecutor of Muntinlupa City had dismissed the grave threats filed against him by Camerino’s group—exactly the same charges in the administrative case before the Ombudsman. 

- Advertisement -


Popular Articles