Mayor Beng to Arquiza: Turn yourself to the law PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 August 2016 11:53

By BHONG SIMBAJON

Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar on Monday appealed to newly-elected District 2 Councilor Teodyver Arquiza, her party mate in the Liberal Party, to turn himself to the authorities and submit to the process of the law.

In her regular press briefing, Climaco stressed that being an elected government official, her call is for Arquiza to allow himself to obtain justice by way of exploring all other remedies on the criminal case he is facing.

“Our call for him is to submit to the process of the law. His lawyer knows what his remedies are under the circumstances and he must allow the wheels of justice to take its course,” Climaco said.

The city chief executive said the last time she talked to Arquiza, he was telling her about his case and she told him to really seek legal advice from a lawyer.

“I haven’t spoken to him anymore and we are really appealing as elected government officials we really subscribe ourselves and abide by the legal process, abide be the law,” Climaco said.

The mayor said Arquiza has a warrant  issued by the court, “so they must leave it up to his lawyer to also defend him in court and the members of the Liberal Party, is also appealing that he also faces the law to really defend himself aided by his lawyer.”

“I would like to believe that your membership to the party ends when you are elected. I have hopes,” Climaco said.

She said that as every knows the court has taken jurisdiction over the case filed against Councilor Arquiza, and this was evidenced by the numerous warrants of arrest.

“The  wheel of justice must prevail,”she said.

Moreover, the mayor said that prior to the preliminary investigation of the case, Councilor Arquiza was well represented by a competent counsel. When the warrant was issued he was also entitled to the assistance of a counsel.

It is possible that Arquiza’s camp might be preparing some pleadings to be filed, motion for judicial determination of probable cause asking the presiding judge to revisit once more the issuance of the warrants of arrest.

The mayor being the chief executive officer is limited to administrative cases only.

Asked about the plan of Liberal Party on the present status of Arquiza, Climaco said that everything is based in the Sangguniang Panlungsod internal rules and procedures.    At this moment, she said she cannot really give any exact answer on whatever will happen to Arquiza because “there is still a process that they have to face in court, so until then, he will be able to answer it because he is not yet been convicted so he still has all the right and the legal remedies available by law in dealing with his case.”

With regards to the city council’s house rules and procedures, following RA 7160 based on members of the Sanggunian with regards to his absence, it will also be provided for.   Arquiza was formally charged with six counts of graft and malversation of public funds Thursday afternoon.

He was accused for three counts of malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents and three counts for violation of section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The case for malversation of public funds was docketed under case numbers 33186, 33187 and 33188. Another three counts of Graft charges were docketed under case numbers 33189, 33190 and 33191.

Arquiza was charged together with two other barangay officials of Talon-Talon for falsifying public documents following misappropriation of the Sangguniang Kabataan funds for payment of labor for the beautification and cleanliness, payment of honoraria of basketball referees, timekeeper and scorer for the interzone basketball league. Warrants of arrest were issued by the court last Friday afternoon against the three respondents.

Arquiza was a reporter of the TV 11.  – Bhong Simbajon/RMN News