Pampanga gov files plunder case vs Bong Pineda
In his six-page complaint affidavit, Panlilio cited Pineda’s association with former President Joseph Estrada, who was found guilty of the crime of plunder by the Sandiganbayan, as proof of his guilt.
“Sa araw na ito, napagpasyahan ko ang magsampa ng kaso sa Ombudsman laban kay Ginoong Rodolfo “Bong" Pineda sa paratang na salang pandarambong o plunder." Panlilio said.
The governor said Pineda, like Estrada, was also guilty of plunder because the “evidence presented by the Ombudsman was sufficient to prove the guilt of former President Estrada."
By definition of the crime of plunder, Panlilio said, “any person who participated with said public officer in the commission of an offense contributing to the crime of plunder shall likewise be punished for such offense."
Panlilio said the Sandigangbayan’s decision that Pineda is one of the prominent persons who helped Mr. Pineda in the collection of ill-gotten wealth is proof that Pineda is guilty of plunder.
“Base sa hatol na iyon, kasama na ang lahat ng ebidensya na nasa Ombudsman at inilatag sa Sandiganbayan, naniniwala ako na nararapat lamang mahatulan rin si Mr. Pineda upang maibigay ang tunay na hustisya," he said.
“The decision of the Sandiganbayan is replete with findings that support Mr. Pineda’s active and direct participation and conspiracy with the former President in his commission of plunder," the priest-turned-governor said.
Panlilio said Pampanga is now known as “Jueteng Vatican. Iyan po ang katawagan ngayon sa Pampanga."
The governor said gone were the days when Pampanga was used to be known as the bastion of freedom and democracy as the province is now synonymous with jueteng.
He said more than this, jueteng money is now being used to buy off politicians and the police.
This was how the political atmosphere in Pampanga before the 2007 elections, he said. Panlilio said he was forced to run in the elections to curb corruption in the quarry industry and illegal gambling.
But Panlilio said his campaign against illegal gambling is crippled because his choice for a provincial police director was never granted in violation of the tradition of a governor choosing his police director.
“Ang hindi pagkakasali ni Ginoong Pineda sa mga paratang na kay dating Pangulong Estrada lamang ipinatong ay nag-iiwan ng isang malaking katanungan sa taumbayan, gayung hindi naman siya naging state witness noong nililitis ang kaso. This constitutes a gross oversight of justice which must be remedied, and which this complaint seeks to rectify. At kung tunay nga na nagkasala si Pangulong Estrada, marapat lamang na maisailalim sa kapangyarihan ng hukuman ang lahat na sa kanya’y nakisali sa nasabing krimen, kasama na rin ang malalim na pagtukoy sa pinanggalingan ng perang ginamit bilang lagay," Panlilio stated.
“We must not whimsically forget or ignore those who have sought to corrupt the highest office of the land. The deteriorating influence that such a criminal act exerts on the political life of the nation breeds a shameless system of patronage, where gambling lords ensure their operations through the corruption of elected officials and civil servants, who in turn also secure their positions by sharing a pittance to the people. It also debases the civil service, because anyone will be able to justify graft by pointing to the example of his superiors. Worst of all, it encourages the misrepresentation of the people’s will by providing the means to cheat during elections," the governor declared.
He added that the filing of a case against Pineda is just one step in the fight against illegal gambling in the Pampanga.
Efforts to reach Bong Pineda failed. - GMANews.TV