Dismissal of Neri et al. case an exercise in futility
In an effort to punish the culprits and recover the over P490 million in emoluments that former SSS presidents Romulo Neri, Corazon dela Paz et al. pocketed as their own, per findings of a Senate investigation headed by Sen. Franklin Drilon in 2010, the Philippine Association of Retired Persons (PARP) filed on Dec. 6, 2010, a complaint (Case No. CPL-C-10-2276) in the Ombudsman.
On June 26, 2014, after more than three years, the Ombudsman dismissed the case based on its own field investigators’ report, a portion of which reads as follows:
“Although the investigators (of the Ombudsman) are inclined to agree with the stand of COA with respect to … the alleged pocketed stock dividends and proceeds of the Stock Options subject of the demand letters of SSS, the filing of the appropriate criminal and/or administrative complaints against the concerned SSC and SSS officials would be premature in view of the demand letters and the appeals before the COA proper.
“It is most respectfully recommended that the investigation of the case be CLOSED AND TERMINATED without prejudice to its reopening depending upon the final outcome of the administrative remedies/demand letters being undertaken by the SSS…”
We noted that there was no deadline set for the settlement of the demand of the Social Security System, thus it is an open-ended conditional dismissal of our case, which amounts to an unmitigated denial of the plea of PARP, in behalf of all SSS members, for redress.
Second, would the case be reopened if the demand of the SSS is settled? What about the criminal act committed? Is it okay for the Ombudsman if robbers caught in the act just returned the loot?
We demand that the Ombudsman specify a deadline for the settlement of the case and to reopen the case whether or not the SSS gets back the stolen money.
—AMADO F. CABAERO, founding chair and past national president, Philippine Association of Retired Persons, [email protected]
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