Ombudsman orders ex-Muntinlupa mayor to answer graft charges

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered former Muntinlupa mayor Jaime Fresnedi to answer graft charges after it found “enough basis” regarding the criminal case filed against him by Muntinlupa residents in connection with his unliquidated cash advances amounting to P10 million.

In an order, Director Aleu Amante of the Ombudsman’s Preliminary Investigation and Administrative Adjudication Bureau (PIAB) ordered Fresnedi to file his counter-affidavit with regard to the criminal case filed by the Muntinlupa Muna Movement (MMM) against him and Lualhati Morales, who served as chief of the Accounting Office during Fresnedi’s term.

The Ombudsman also issued an order against Morales, who is being prosecuted for violation of the Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The Muntinlupa residents have filed the criminal charges against Fresnedi and Morales last year for graft and falsification of public documents.

They charged that Fresnedi and Morales conspired to clear themselves of the P10 million unliquidated cash advances that were made during Fresnedi’s term as mayor.

Records showed that Morales resigned from office on June 15, 2007. On the same day, she issued a certificate of clearance to Fresnedi, who was set to vacate his post on June 30, 2007.

Morales issued the clearance despite that Fresnedi failed to liquidate the cash advances in violation of anti-graft laws.

In its order, the Ombudsman told Fresnedi and Morales that “no motion to dismiss or bill of particulars shall be entertained.”

They were given 10 days to answer the charges, according to the order.

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