De Lima: No re-investigation of fake Saro for Aklan

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MANILA -- Justice Secretary Leila de Lima rejected on Wednesday Aklan Representative Teodorico Haresco's request to take a second look at the results of the investigation that linked him to the peddling of falsified Special Release Allotment Order (Saro) for a project in his district.

Haresco would have wanted the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a re-investigation in light of its recommendation to charge him with falsification of public documents before the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Office of the Ombudsman.

After the results were made public on Tuesday, Haresco said he had no capability to use a fake Saro to ask the Department of Agriculture (DA) to proceed with the bidding of the P10-million farm-to-market road project.

He said the NBI never bothered to invite him for questioning and felt being singled out by the government.

"If he wants his side to be heard, that's the proper forum (DOJ or Ombudsman)," said de Lima, adding the NBI exerted efforts to seek Haresco’s cooperation.

Records show that Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala received a letter dated October 21, 2013 from the office of Haresco and attached to the letter was a particular Saro (BMB-E-13-0017726) which was included in the series of Saros cancelled by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The purported signature of DBM Assistant Secretary Luz Cantor was affixed in the copy of the Saro and that lawyer Norman Tayag, chief of staff of Haresco, admitted that the congressman’s office prepared the subject letter and sent it to the DA.

The Saro was endorsed by Haresco's former consultant Mary Ann Castillo, who claimed that the Saro came from someone with whom she is not familiar. She said the man just left the Saro and never returned.

Castillo could not describe the man's physical features as the NBI noted that she was "uneasy and hesitant" to give more information. She promised to personally appear at the NBI to give further statement but she never came, the NBI said.

Castillo was recommended to be charged with obstruction of justice.

A former staff of Zamboanga City Representative Lilia Macruhon-Nuno, a driver of Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and an alleged DBM employee will also face complaints in relation to the scam. (Sunnex)

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