REG'L STATE PROSECUTOR'S RULING ON LTO-7 EXEC'S APPEAL

Dismissal of falsification charge vs DSMI officials, employees upheld

By: Doris C. Bongcac May 01,2022 - 02:00 PM
Photo of motorcycle riders for story:RSP upholds dismissal of falsification charge vs DSMI officials, employees

Falsification charges which the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7) lodged against motorcycle dealers were ordered dismissed. | CDN Digital file

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — The Regional State Prosecutor has denied the motion for reconsideration which Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec of the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7) filed on his already dismissed falsification charges against officers and employees of DES Strong Motors, Inc. (DSMI).

Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane affirmed his earlier decision to dismiss the criminal complaints that Caindec filed against 10 officers and employees of DSMI.

Named respondents in the complaint were company president Dr. Silvestre Lumapas Jr. and corporate secretary Marilou Lumapas.

The other respondents are area manager Renie Tumon, branch manager Joann Lanzaderas and employees Julio Arabejo Jr., Rovelyn Ranises and Emelita Binarao.

Gubalane issued two separate resolutions in March 2022 to say that the appeals that Caindec filed “lacked merit.”

“In asking this Office to redefine its stand on the charges level against the respondents-appellees, complainant-appellant expressed the thought that grave errors had been made when it was resolved on appeal that there was no basis to indict respondents-appellees for the crime of Falsification,” Gubalane said.

He added that “no newly discovered evidence had been submitted in support of the Motion for Reconsideration.”

“Upon judicious analysis (of the) complainant-appellant’s Motion for Reconsideration, this Office finds it bereft of merit,” Gubalane said.

On December 29, 2020, Caindec alleged that on three separate occasions, the respondents ‘conspired’ to falsify the commercial documents which they submitted for uploading to LTO-7’s Do-It-Yourself System of reporting sales.

But Gubalane said Caindec’s complaint ‘lacked merit’ which prompted its dismissal.

The LTO-7 Director filed a motion to seek reconsideration of Gubalane’s order.

On March 15, 2022, Gubalane signed a four-page resolution to uphold his earlier decision.  A copy of the order was received by the respondents on April 5.

“All told, the complainant-appellant in this instance has failed to establish probable cause against respondents-appellees for the offense alleged in the complaints,” read portions of the resolution.

Gubalane also signed a five-page resolution on March 29, 2022 to deny the petition for review which Caindec filed on December 16, 2021 following the dismissal of the complaint for the falsification of a commercial document which he also filed before the Mandaue City Prosecutor’s Office.

He also pointed at Caindec’s failure to present suitable proof to hold respondents liable for the accusations against them was the reason for his decision to also sustain the Mandaue City Prosecutor’s decision.

“Respondent-appellees insisted that the allegations in the complaint are founded on mere speculations and conjectures as there is no established proof of active individual participation in the act of falsifying the questioned sales invoices,” read portions of the five-page resolution.

Gubalane said Caindec’s argument that respondents had possession and control of the sales invoices based on their own admission that the documents in question “were all issued by and in the name of DSMI” is proof that there is indeed no evidence that would determine the precise participation and degree of culpability of each of the respondents in the perpetration of the crime alleged in the complaint.

The regional prosecutor explained that the mentioned admission pertains to acts supposedly done by and in the name of a legal entity with a personality separate and distinct from the respondents and which however is clearly not a party in this case.

“The main proof that will establish probable cause of the offense charged will be that which has been presented by the complainant-appellant and any alleged admission would merely be secondary,” Gubalane said in his resolution.

“This Office will not sanction a ruling that will hold respondents-appellees for trial in court on the basis of a finding that they never denied the falsified entries in the sales invoices because that would be tantamount to guesswork. Besides, in this proceeding respondent-appellees are not called upon to disprove what the complainant-appellant failed to establish by independent and reliable evidence,” read portions of the resolution signed by Gubalane.

As to questions on the partiality of the Acting Mandaue City Prosecutor Julse Bacolod in resolving the case on preliminary investigation, Gubalane said, he was with the belief that he acted with ’sound discretion.’

“The institution of a criminal action depends on the sound discretion of the prosecutor. He may or may not file the complaint or information, follow or not follow that presented by the offended party, according to whether the evidence, in his opinion, is sufficient or not to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.”

READ: Caindec loses appeal on cyber libel charges vs 5 motorcycle dealers

/dbs

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TAGS: DSMI, employees, falsification charge, Fernando Gubalane, LTO-7, officers, Regional State Prosecutor, Victor Caindec

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