By Marie Tonette Marticio
CARIGARA, Leyte – Warrants of arrest have been issued Monday (March 25) against two top officials here for falsification of private documents for allegedly using fabricated documents in the disqualification cases they filed against their political opponents.
Judge Fidelina Molina of the Municipal Trial Court here issued the warrants against Carigara Vice Mayor Mildred Modesto and Councilor Rachel Makabenta with P36,000 as recommended bail.
The case stemmed from the disqualification cases they filed against reelectionist mayor Eduardo Ong Sr. and his son Eduardo Jr., who will be his father’s running mate.
Modesto and Makabenta alleged that the Ongs lacked the residency requirements to run.
The Ongs, in turn, filed perjury and falsification charges against them for allegedly falsifying the affidavits of their witnesses.
The supposed witness identified as Maritesse Rosales Cantojos denied having executed affidavits used by Modesto and Makabenta as part of the disqualification case.
“I never did execute nor sign such affidavits.. the signatures appearing in both affidavits are not my signature nor does it resemble mine,” Cantojos said.
Lawyer Ulpiano Arpon Jr., who purportedly notarized the affidavits of the witnesses, also maintained that he never notarized the affidavits in question.
“I never did notarize said affidavit of witness.., and neither did such affiants appear before my office,” he said.
The lawyer added his notarial commission was issued by Carigara Regional Trial Court prohibits him from notarizing in Tacloban City as shown in the jurat clause of the affidavits.
The prosecutor, in its joint resolution said the disqualification cases filed by respondents appeared to be products of the petitioners’ indiscretions.
“Strip-off of any sort of legalities, such actions bordered from being deceptive to an utmost betrayal of a former political ally,” the resolution said.
The prosecutor noticed that in the 2013 and 2016 elections, Macabenta won under the same party with the incumbent mayor.
It also found probable cause because of substantial disparities on the witnesses’ signatures aside from their denial of having executed the same.
On the same date, Modesto and Macabenta posted bail for their temporary liberty, but refused to give comments to the media.