Friday, July 24, 2015

Ombudsman junks grave scandal, immoral conduct raps vs. Tallado

DAET, Camarines Norte – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has dismissed the criminal and administrative complaints filed against Camarines Norte Governor Edgar Tallado.

Ombudsman junks grave scandal, immoral conduct raps vs. Tallado
Tallado was asked to answer a criminal complaint of violating Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code or Grave Scandal and Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct, and an administrative complaint for Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct.

Complainant Jonel Revuelta Banal claimed in the case docketed as OMB-L-C-C-0132 that Tallado should be charged criminally because his wife Mrs. Josie Tallado openly accused him of marital infidelity and that he has an alleged sex video with his alleged mistress.

The proliferation of the sex video and photos, Banal said constitutes a violation of the law.

Meanwhile, the alleged sex video and uncompromising photos of what appears to be the respondent and his alleged mistress, caused shame and embarrassment to him and to the province of Camarines Norte, Banal claims.

He said the acts amount to Grave Scandal, as defined under Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code.

Meanwhile, in the case docketed as OMB-L-A-0101, Banal said that the alleged act of the respondent of keeping a mistress and having scandalous video and photo is a Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct, hence he was liable administratively.

Tallado’s counter affidavit

Respondent Tallado vehemently denied the accusations of Banal. He argued that: (a) Mr. Banal and his cohorts were being used by people who have political agenda to destroy the name and reputation of the governor of the Province of Camarines Norte; (b) Banal was not a proper party to the case; (c) the alleged sex videos and uncompromising photos are inadmissible in evidence, and (d) the elements of the crime of Grave Scandal as defined by Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code were wanting in the instant case.

Furthermore, Tallado assailed the jurisdiction of the Office on the ground that the charges of Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct were outside of its jurisdiction.

The governor said that the complaint Banal was not cognizable by the Office of the Ombudsman considering that the charge did not pertain to the performance of his functions as a duly elected public official.

He also contended that Banal was not a party in interest to the case because he had no personal knowledge on the statements of Mrs. Josie Tallado and her friend Darleen Francisco.

Likewise, Tallado posited that he cannot be held administratively liable for the proliferation of the sex video and uncompromising photos because these were illegally uploaded without his knowledge and consent.

Tallado in the same document said Banal was guilty of forum shopping, since he filed the same complaint with the Office of the President and the Commission on Human Rights.

The Ombudsman said that contrary to the position of the respondent, said Office has jurisdiction to hear and try the complaint against the respondent. Even assuming, it explained, that the charges did not pertain to the performance of his functions as the duly elected Governor of the Province of Camarines Norte, all the assailed acts of the respondent falls within the jurisdiction of the Office.

The Ombudsman's findings

The root cause of the complaints were the proliferation of an alleged sex video and uncompromising photos of what appears to have been the respondent and his alleged mistress.

These came out after Mrs. Josie Tallado accused the governor on live television of having illicit affairs.

The Ombudsman said that Mrs. Tallado’s accusations were part of a family problem which could be resolved in other forums.

As to the scandalous proliferation of the alleged sex video and uncompromising videos, it is immaterial to dwell, the Ombudsman said.

“There is no dispute that the alleged sex video and uncompromising photos were uploaded, published, and distributed without the consent of the parties therein, hence, inadmissible in evidence,” the resolution reads.

“Clearly, there is no substantial evidence to hold the respondent criminally and administratively liable, other that the fact that the alleged sex video and distribution of the same, which Banal claims to be scandalous, cannot be admitted as evidence against the respondent,” it continues.

“The burden of proof to establish one’s cause of action, lies with the complainant. In both complaints, other that bare allegations in his complaints, Mr. Banal failed to produce any evidence to support the allegations in his complaints. In the eyes of the law, the respondent committed as yet no visible wrong. He had no cause of action against the respondent, for his accusations were not supported by the required evidence,”

Based on said reasons, the Ombudsman dismissed the criminal and administrative cases against Governor Tallado.

This dismissal of the complaint was approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on July 14, 2015. —BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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