The Ombudsman in the Visayas has assigned an officer to investigate the complaints filed by the widow of the late Bacolod Sanggunian Secretary Nilo Alejandrino against officials of Bacolod City.
Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol and Graft Investigation Officer 1 and Chief Administrative officer designate Elpidio Montecillo informed Melba Alejandrino that they received her complaints on May 3, 2012, and that they have assigned the cases to an investigating officer who will act on them.
The Ombudsman required her to submit the needed documents within 10 days toprevent delays in the proceedings and to facilitate the evaluation of the facts of the cases.
Alejandrino filed criminal complaints for Gross Violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson and Councilor Caesar Distrito; and a criminal complaint for Usurpation of Authority against Sayson.
Asked for his comment, Distrito said these cases are dismissible and have no legal basis at all.
Melba Alejandrino has no personal knowledge on the matter since she has been working in the United States, he said.
This is just procedural and the reason why the Ombudsman has not issued an order is because they are still trying to determine the sufficiency of the cases filed, Distrito said. In fact, they have assigned it to a graft investigator, he added.
The cases stemmed from the verbal exchanges that transpired between former SP Secretary Alejandrino and Distrito on the invitation sent by the former to City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan.
In the invitation, Nilo Alejandrino placed the word "casual" under the name of Bayatan because he claimed that the CLO usually sends a casual employee from his office to represent him during SP public hearings.
Distrito came by Alejandrino's office and asked him to change the word “casual” to “City Legal Officer” but this led to a verbal exchange between the two.
Distrito claimed he was belittled by Alejandrino due to his disability and even threw a chair at him, which the councilor considered a show of disrespect to his person and as an SP member.
Nilo Alejandrino was dismissed from service with all his benefits forfeited. His family claimed this caused his health to deteriorate that led to his death on April 14, 2012.
Alejandrino’s wife is represented by Lorenzo Alminaza.*CGS