By Ric Obedencio | 06:58 PM January 28, 2023
Embattled former Panglao Mayor Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan has been acquitted in criminal case by the Supreme Court in a Resolution it issued and signed by Division Clerk of Court Librada C. Buena by authority of the court on January 18, 2023.
“Petitioner Doloreich Dumaluan is acquitted in criminal case No. SB-11-CRM-0029,” the highest Court said.
Dumaluan’s motion for reconsideration to reverse the Sandiganbayan’s decision convicting him in violation of section 3(f) of Republic Act No. 3019 has been granted and consequently his petition against Sandiganbayan’s Resolution dated June 30, 2020 has been reversed.
In media interview, Dumaluan, who is now a practicing doctor of medicine, said that he is very happy of the outcome of the case that lasted for 15 years. He sincerely thanked his family and friends for the support and courage to slug it out till the end even as he expressed his gratitude to God, saying there really is justice.
The Court’s verdict came at a time that he celebrated his 64th birthday on January 27, 2023 at his beach resort where he gathered his family, close friends with a simple but fitting dinner after the celebration of the holy mass.
The said case stemmed for his refusal as a municipal mayor to issue locational clearance to Bohol Resort Development Inc. (BRDI), representing Bohol Beach Club (BBC) for its additional building. This prompted the latter to file charges against the mayor on May 25, 2005.
Dumaluan did not issue the clearance since Panglao town, at that time, has no approved Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), yet, aside from the fact the mayor filed separate case for his adverse claim over the property on which BRDI sought to construct for additional facilities.
BRDI filed before the Ombudsman for the preventive suspension of then mayor Dumaluan from office pending investigation in violation of R.A. 3019. As a result the latter was suspended for months.
The case was elevated to the Sandiganbayan convicted Dumaluan via Resolution dated June 10, 2020 for violation of section 3(f) of R.A. 3019. He was sentenced to six years and one month, as minimum, 10 years, as minimum, with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
The highest Court reversed the Sandiganbayan’s decision in aforesaid Resolution considering that the mayor, at that time, is not authorized to issue locational clearance for said construction because of the absence of approved CLUP.
It said that such authority (to issue the locational clearance) is vested to the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HULRB) for cities and towns that do not have CLUP yet pursuant to section 3 of Executive Order No 72. Thus, the reversal of the case against Dumaluan.
Republic Act No. 3019 is also known as Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Section 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: (f) Neglecting or refusing, after due demand or request, without sufficient justification, to act within a reasonable time on any matter pending before him for the purpose of obtaining, directly or indirectly, from any person interested in the matter some pecuniary or material benefit or advantage, or for the purpose of favoring his own interest or giving undue advantage in favor of or discriminating against any other interested party.
“Let entry of judgment be issued immediately,” (G. R. No. 230323 December 7, 2022), according to the said SC’s Resolution acquitting Dumaluan.
Copies of the same (Resolution) were furnished to Tamayo Law offices, Atty. Roland Inting Atty. Tusitela Fajarito, Sandiganbayan, Office of the Special Prosecutor and Phlippine Judicial Academy. (rvo)