Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Celestino “Tining” Martinez III expressed his disappointment over the Ombudsman’s upholding of the indictment against him and six others in the alleged misuse of Php 15 million in pork barrel funds in 2002. He was the mayor of Bogo City at that time.
He said that after a long talk with his lawyer, he found nothing wrong in the handling of the funds from the national government. His local government unit, being only the conduit of the said funds, had already handed it over to the Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) as the beneficiary.
He justified that the absence of a memorandum of agreement (MOA), as mentioned by the Ombudsman’s recommendation, was because in the research that he made, Priority Development Funds are not included in the list of memoranda that require MOAs governing the handling of such funds.
He added that his inquiry with the GSP revealed that there was no audit conducted regarding the spending of the money. Likewise, the Bogo treasurer at that time said that there was no disallowance received by the office regarding the handling of the money.
SP Martinez said that since the case is already with the Sandiganbayan, he has no other recourse but to defend himself in court when the time comes.