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MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has allowed the Office of the Ombudsman to proceed with its case of perjury and falsification of documents against former special prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio.
The SC junked the petition for certiorari filed by Villa-Ignacio accusing the Office of the Ombudsman of abusing its power and authority to indict him. The Ombudsman was then Merceditas Gutierrez.
“After a perusal of the records of the case, this Court resolves to dismiss the instant petition for failure to show that the Office of the Ombudsman committed any grave abuse of discretion in finding probable cause to indict (Villa-Ignacio),” the SC said in its ruling last July 3.
“The Court has consistently adopted a policy of non-interference in the exercise of the Ombudsman’s investigatory powers and the authority to determine the presence or absence of probable,” the SC said.
The SC said it would only interfere with the Ombudsman “when the finding is tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”
In the case of perjury and falsification of documents against Villa-Ignacio, the SC said the former special prosecutor “indisputably” made a false declaration in his Personal Data Sheet (PDS) when he sought promotion to the position of Ombudsman in October 2005.
Records show Villa-Ignacio submitted before the Judicial and Bar Council documents claiming that no administrative sanction has ever been imposed on him.
It was learned, however, that the SC reprimanded Villa-Ignacio in March 2001 for failing to resolve a motion for reconsideration of a decision he issued in an annulment case.Assistant Special Prosecutor Luz Quiñones-Marcos filed a complaint against Villa-Ignacio before the Internal Affairs Board (IAB) of the Office of the Ombudsman, which found sufficient basis to proceed with the filing of the charges in court
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