BAGUIO CITY – The Office of the Ombudsman cleared the Board of Directors of the state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) from two cases filed by the Sobrepeña-led Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDevCo) due to the lack of credible proof to support the complaints.
In a nine-page joint resolution penned by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Marianne M. Macayra and approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, the two cases filed by the CJHDevCo as represented by its Vice President for Litigation Manuel T. Ubarra Jr. against the BCDA Board were dismissed.
The joint resolution read: “In fine, absent any credible proof in support of complainant’s allegation-charges, the complaint fails. WHEREFORE, these cases are dismissed.”
In addressing the complaints filed by CJHDevCo, the joint resolution read: “There is no proof that respondents [BCDA Board] acted with manifest partially, evident bad faith, or gross inexcusable negligence…There is, moreover, no proof that the alleged delay in the issuance of complainant’s (CJHDevCo) renewal of accreditation, permits, and clearances was due to respondents’ palpable intention to favor another party, or that it was motivated by ill will to secure personal and/or pecuniary benefits.”
The joint resolution went on to read: “Complainant, through VP Ubarra, admitted that it owed BCDA unpaid rentals…”
The joint resolution further stated that “on the basis of the foregoing, there is no substantial evidence to hold respondents administratively liable…”
While the Ombudsman cleared the BCDA Board from the cases filed by Ubarra, the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC), on the other hand has convicted him for the crime of perjury.
It would be recalled that BCDA President Arnel Paciano D. Casanova filed a criminal complaint for perjury against Ubarra before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) based on the Complaint-Affidavit Ubarra filed before the Ombudsman.
In 2012, Ubarra as the Vice President for Litigation of CJHDevCo, filed a Complaint-Affidavit with the Ombudsman filing two complaints against BCDA President and CEO Arnel Paciano D. Casanova and other directors of the BCDA for failing to promptly reply on letters and requests from the public within fifteen days from receipt thereof, in violation of Sec. 5 (a) of RA No. 6713 and for violation of Section 3 (e) and 3 (f) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
In the case filed before the MeTC, Casanova said Ubarra’s allegations were false because he was not yet the President and CEO of the BCDA when the letters were sent and therefore he could not have replied to the letters.
In his Complaint-Affidavit, Ubarra mentioned that it took sixty days before Casanova replied to the letter he sent on 29 December 2009.
Casanova argued that he assumed office as BCDA President and CEO on April 15, 2011. The letters that CJHDevCo sent were addressed to Mr. Aloysius L. Santos and Gen Narciso L Abaya (Ret) then the Chairman and President & CEO of BCDA respectively.
Casanova also said that the reply letter of Ubarra’s March 01, 2010 was signed by then President and CEO Abaya. He added that Ubarra’s May 28, 2010 letter was addressed to President Abaya.
Ubarra is currently appealing his case before the Regional Trial Court.
By Dexter A. See