By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
An arrest warrant was recently issued for Rocky Puentevella, the son of former Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella, who served as executive assistant during his father’s administration.
In a press conference yesterday morning, Save Bacolod Movement lead convenor Sammy Montoyo, who also serves as an executive assistant to Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, said he received a copy of the warrant from the Bacolod City Regional Trial Court (RTC)-Branch 50 last week, citing bribery allegations surrounding the “ukay-ukay” case filed by former Bacolod City Councilor Carl Lopez back in 2014.
He noted, bail was set at P30,000 in violation of RA 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; and P20,000 for “direct bribery,” a violation of Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code Title VII, considered a crime committed by public officers.
Earlier this year, the Office of the Ombudsman filed a resolution against Puentevella, citing allegations by Marife Fernandez, an “ukay-ukay” vendor, or one who sells second-hand clothing, claiming she was ordered to pay P300,000 by the then-executive assistant.
The Ombudsman found “substantial evidence” corroborating the claims, citing a total P500,000 received from other vendors.
The body ruled Puentevella was guilty of grave misconduct.
Later, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) enforced the said decision.
According to Montoyo, Puentevella’s arraignment is scheduled for October 27.
Meanwhile, he also noted receiving a notice last month regarding the ongoing case surrounding allegedly overpriced computer sets purchased by the elder Puentevella while he was serving as Bacolod lone district representative, which is currently before the Sandiganbayan.
Montoyo said the former mayor did not show up to pre-trial proceedings, where the prosecution and defense lay the ground rules for the formal trial./WDJ