Press Release
April 17, 2008


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Nene" Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said the filing of a criminal case against former Justice Secretary Hernando Perez is a good move that will help dispel the widespread impression that the Office of the Ombudsman is covering up the involvement of administration officials in corrupt deals.

Pimentel said that although the decision to elevate the case to the Sandiganbayan came quite late, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez should be credited for going after Perez, who was her former superior at the Department of Justice during her stint as justice undersecretary.

He challenged the Ombudsman to pursue the case up to its logical conclusion to erase the suspicion that this is just all for show to improve the dismal record of the Arroyo administration in the anti-graft campaign.

"This is good for the Ombudsman, bad for Nani. But only events will prove whether this is real or not," the minority leader said.

At the same time, Pimentel said the Ombudsman should be able to satisfactorily explain why Mr. Perez and her co-accused were being charged only with graft instead of plunder considering that the amount of tainted money involved at the time of the commission of the offense was more than P100 million in peso equivalent.

Pimentel expressed the hope that the Ombudsman will take decisive action on other graft cases involving big fish and influential personalities that have long been pending with this office.

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