By Nitz Arancon,
A TOWN mayor in the Island-province of Camiguin is in hot waters after a concerned citizen filed a graft and corruption complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman gave Catarman mayor Nestor Ares Jacot 10 days to submit his counter affidavit in response to a complaint filed by one Raul Libago.
Libago sued Jacot before the Ombudsman for allegedly owning and operating a cockfighting arena (bulangan).
Together with Jacot, Catarman Municipal Development Officer Arturieto Ramigoso and Municipal Engineer Isidro Dablo, Jr. were also ordered to submit their counter affidavit.
The two-page joint order, dated March 3, was signed by Maria Iluminada Lapid-Viva.
“Failure to comply as herein directed with the period prescribed by these rules shall be deemed a waiver of the right to submit counter affidavit/reply-affidavit and the investigation shall proceed according to existing rules,” ‘the Ombudsman’s joint order reads in part.
On Feb. 12, Libago filed a four-page complaint against Jacot, Ramigoso, and Dablo.
Libago alleged that the three municipal officials violated Republic Act 3019 or the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, specifically section 3(f) and (h), and section 89, ( 2 ) and sec. 7(b) and (I) of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code.
Libago also accused the three officials of violating Republic Act 6713 or Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, specifically for “abuse of authority and neglect of duty.”
“As a matter of fact, Mayor Nestor Jacot openly declared in his Sworn statement of Asset, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) that he is a stockholder/part-owner of Polarman Gallery since 2012,” said Libago.
Libago told the Ombudsman that it is an open knowledge for the people of Catarman town that Jacot owned and operated the gambling arena.
“It is public knowledge among residence of Catarman, Camigiun that Mayor Jacot is the owner of the new cockpit which was built at the time he became a mayor. He is active in its management as manifested by his actual presence during cockfighting days, especially during Sundays,” Libago said.