Acosta slams ‘foul rumor’

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Chief Public Attorney Persida V. Rueda-Acosta yesterday cried foul over the reported P2-million bribery involving a PAO official in exchange for the freedom of convicted murderer Rolito Go.

Acosta dared the source of the story to name names, pointing out that she has disqualified Go as a client of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) especially in the wake of their indigency test.

She said the report aimed to sow intrigue and discredit the noble objective of the government’s rehabilitation program especially for ailing, sickly and 70-year- old inmates.

“Name names, and where’s the proof?” said the PAO head.

“Go’s application for clemency is with the Board of Pardon and Parole (BPP). That’s beyond our jurisdictions so it would be impossible for a PAO official to handle that,” Acosta said.

Acosta added that the BPP is the only agency legally authorized to make recommendations to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the grant for executive clemency to inmates.

Unlike PAO, the BPP (Board of Pardons and Parole) is a constituent unit directly under the Department of Justice (DOJ).

This developed as Julie Sy, sister of Go, lamented what she branded as “a baseless report.”

“Sana naman ay tigilan na nila kami lalo na sa pagpapakalat ng istorya na hindi naman totoo,” a tenseful and saddened Sy said even as she strongly belied involvement of her family in the bribery attempt.

“Umaapela lang po kami sa Board of Pardons and Parole sa clemency dahil hirap na hirap na po kami at humingi na ng tawad si Rolito Go sa kasalanan na pinagdusahan na niya,” Julie said.

Julie added that they have already paid the Maguans covering the civil aspect of the case amounting to P3,679,407.76 in manager’s check of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation No. 0000003334 dated May 22, 2008 payable to Mrs. Rosario Maguan.

Julie said that her brother Go — already 61 — is already sickly.

Julie showed reporters a xeroxed copy of a report issued by court deputy sheriff Mario J. Tamang certifying the full payment of the civil aspect of the court decision issued last October, 22, 1993 to the heirs of the late Eldon Maguan.

Ellis Maguan at 183 Maude St., San Juan City, personally acknowledged the receipt of the check.

Felix Bellen, court process server, witnessed the payment. Copy of the report was furnished to Atty. Jose B. Flaminiano of Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City.

“Pinagtulungan naming mag-ambag-ambag sa pera dahil gusto ng Maguan ay full amount,” Julie said.

“Naaawa ako sa aking mga anak. Sana ay mabigyan na ako ng pangalawang pagkakataon na makapiling ang aking pamilya,” a remorseful and almost speechless Go said.

Go has been asking for clemency and commutation of his sentence for the past three years.