The Ombudsman has dismissed graft charges filed against a town mayor in South Cotabato for holding a cockfight during the town’s foundation anniversary in 2014.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved the recommendation of Graft Investigator Marianne Macayra to dismiss the graft complaint against Banga town mayor Albert Palencia after finding no probable cause to indict the respondent.
The charges stemmed from the complaint filed by Association of Barangay Captains chair Magno Reyes, municipal councilmen Janeem Reyes and Elmer Aguirre who accused Palencia of organizing a four-cock derby inside the municipal gym in February 2014 for personal gain.
In his defense Palencia, claimed that the cockfighting event was part of the highlights of the towns’ 73rd foundation anniversary which was approved by the Sangguniang Bayan.
In its resolution the Ombudsman said: “This Office finds no sufficient basis to criminally fault respondent Palencia for his action. There is no probable cause to indict respondent for violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.”
“There is no sufficient evidence that he initiated and sponsored the event, or that he allowed, promoted, and participated in gambling in the premises of the cockpit.”