PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group accused Atty. Bonifacio Alentajan of malpractice for filing a Motion to Admit Evidence prior to the investigation of graft charges filed by British national Siu Ting Alpha Kwok against Undersecretary Antonio “Bebot” A. Villar Jr. and eight other PASG officials at the Office of the Ombudsman.
PASG Director for Administration and Finance and Chief of Staff Jeffrey Patawaran said the motion of Alentajan was unsubstantiated, futile and no basis at all for PASG is yet to receive Kwok’s case notification from Ombudsman.
“We have read press statements on graft charges filed by Kwok, but we are still awaiting notification from the Ombudsman. So, Alentajan’s pleading was a premature pleading which was filed with haste by an immature lawyer,” said Patawaran who perceived the move of Alentajan as insistent off-the-road legal drive.
Patawaran said the legal immaturity of Alentajan was earlier proven when his petition for habeas corpus filed in favor of Kwok was dismissed by Pasig City Regional Trial Court Judge Toribio Ilao for forum shopping, saying that “A party (Alentajan) should not be allowed to present simultaneous remedies in two different forums for it degrades and wreaks havoc to the rule on orderly procedure.”
He added that Alentajan’s purpose of filing the out-of-time motion might be purely for revenue generation “for lawyers are paid by moneyed clients per page paper work and court appearance.”
The fiery reaction of Patawaran was due to the 10-page Motion to Admit Evidence filed by Alentajan at the Ombudsman to further push the graft charges of Kwok against PASG officials who apprehended her some P250 million smuggled diamonds and pieces of jewelry in a condominium unit in Pasig City.
Alentajan’s additional evidence against PASG was the contention of EMCO Plywood Corporation that PASG operation in apprehending the imported logs in Magallanes, Agusan Del Norte, was illegal.
However, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources attested that the seized logs were illegal for it was without permit.
“The move of Alentajan was purely harassment, for the EMCO case is immaterial and irrelevant from the case of Kwok vs PASG,” added Patawaran, who belied accusation that the operation was illegal for Secretary Jose Atienza even commended PASG for the apprehension of imported logs.
The PASG operation against EMCO was done on June 30, 2009 in coordination with DENR Magallanes where Community Environment and Natural Resources team leader Arnold Aguilar issued a notice of apprehension.