BACOLOD City – The Office of the Provincial Prosecutor (OPP) dismissed the falsification complaints filed by two residents of Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental against Task Force Kasanag national commander John Chiong and journalist Dolly Yasa for lack of probable cause.
In a decision penned by Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Elsie M. Sendico and approved by OIC-Provincial Prosecutor Rodrigo Diaz, the OPP contended that “no probable cause exists against respondents, hence recommends that the above entitled case be dismissed.”
Complainants Jocelyn Tablanza and Herma Vinson accused Chiong of faking their signatures in the latter’s complaint-letter for habitual absenteeism against former Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña.
Chiong lodged the plaint with the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Tablanza and Vinson also claimed that Chiong gathered the signatures with the help of Yasa, a former councilor of Moises Padilla.
In support of their complaint, Tablanza attached her DSWD Pantawid ID while Vinzon presented her Barangay Nutrition Scholar ID bearing their respective signatures.
Chiong said he merely endorsed to the DILG for investigation the petition of more than 200 residents of Moises Padilla town against Peña.
He said the said petition was left in his office by anonymous persons who were afraid to be identified.
Chiong added that he had “no participation in the preparation or solicitation of signatures in the petition neither it was shown in the allegation of the complainants that he caused the alleged falsification.”
Yasa did not file her counter-affidavit.
In her resolution, Sendico said “in the case at hand, there was no iota of evidence pointing to respondents’ culpability as the author of the purported falsification.”
“There was no showing that he caused the preparation of the said petition, nor the solicitation of the signatures therein.”
Moreover, the document was not used as evidence in any judicial proceeding but as an attachment for a private communication he (Chiong) had with a government official.
“Finally, it is worthy to note that in all criminal prosecutions, criminal intent or mens rea must be shown in felonies committed by means of dolo, such as falsification, such intent is a mental state, the existence of which is shown by the overt acts of a person, thus the acts of respondent must have displayed with moral certainty his intention to pervert the truth. In cases of falsification, criminal intent to pervert the truth is lacking in cases showing that 1) the accused did not be benefit from the falsification 2) no damage was caused either to the government or third person.”