BAGUIO CITY October 12 – The Office of the Ombudsman dismissed the graft and corruption charges filed against Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan in relation to alleged inaction on the resumption of gambling operations along Kayang St. for lack of merit.
In a 6-page decision by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer I Regina C. Anniban-Navarro, cited the bingo social which was being alleged as a front for gambling activities was a barangay sanctioned activity and as such, the local chief executive has no reason to shut it down.
Further, she pointed out the frequent conduct of intelligence operations against the possibility of the bingo social being used as a front of illegal gambling negated the allegation of the complainant that he refused to monitor the same.
“Based on the foregoing, it cannot be said that respondent acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. Similarly, no iota of evidence was submitted to establish that undue injury was caused to any party or that unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference was given to any private party. Such being the case, the charge for violation of Section 3(e) is unimpressed,” Navarro stressed.
The charges against Domogan emanated from his alleged inaction on the letter of complainant Odell Aquino dated March 7, 2011 informing him and former city director Senior Superintendent David Lacdan on the alleged on going illegal gambling activity at Kayang Hilltop. Aquino alleged that despite receipt of the latter, Domogan refused to shutdown or monitor the bingo social activity.
However, records revealed that the bingo social activity was sanctioned by the barangay and the result of the intelligence operations by the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) revealed that there was no gambling activity therein.
“We hold that there is no basis for respondent to shutdown the said bingo social. Further, the conduct of intelligence operations in barangay Kayang Hilltop by the BCPO debunked the allegation that said bingo social was not monitored by the city government,” Navarro added.
Contrary to the allegations of Aquino, Domogan claimed that the subject of his letters had already been addressed by the BCPO as can be gleaned from their correspondence with him informing him of the negative turnout of their operations.
Domogan vehemently denied the allegations of Aquino against him, stating that every complaint being referred to him against illegal gambling was referred to the BCPO for the conduct of intelligence operations in order to validate such report and most often than not their operations turnout to be negative thereby negating his claim that the city government never acted on his complaint.