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Drilon urges Ombudsman to probe USec. Orceo

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon urged the Office of the Ombudsman to motu proprio investigate Justice Undersecretary Reynante Orceo for "manifest partiality, evident bad faith and inexcusable negligence" in downgrading the charges against Supt. Marvin Marcos and his group.

Upon review of applicable law and jurisprudence, Drilon said that Orceo violated Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019).

According to Drilon, a former justice secretary, Section 3(e) of the anti-graft law says that any government official or employee can be charged for "causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence."

He said that Orceo's case falls squarely in the essential elements of violation of Sec. 3(e) of RA 3019, which inludes that (1) the accused must be a public officer discharging administrative, judicial or official functions; (2) he must have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or inexcusable negligence; and (3) that his action caused any undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his functions.

"It is very clear that officials led by Usec. Orceo colluded in order for the charges against Macos and his men to be downgraded from murder to homicide, so that they could post bail and be freed," said Drilon.

Drilon said that there was a clear violation of the anti-graft law on the part of Orceo, who claimed at a Senate hearing that he acted on his own when he downgraded the charges against Marcos and his men.

"His action caused undue injury to the republic and to our justice system. What they did is a mockery of our justice system," he stressed.

"That is the very reason why faith in our justice system remains low despite everything that we've done to ensure a fair and efficient justice system," he lamented.

The minority leader said he will recommend to the committee of public order and committee on justice that a case be filed against Orceo.

"I would ask the committess handling this case that the Senate stand by its finding that Mayor Espinosa was murdered and that we must recommend the filing of appropriate criminal and administrative charges against Orceo and whoever colluded with him," Drilon said.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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