A former deputy Ombudsman for Luzon posted a P2-million bail bond for his temporary freedom but explained that he is not dropping plans to challenge the probable cause found against him.
Former Deputy Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni choked up P2.07 million for his bail before the Sandiganbayan Third Division to gain provisional liberty in his 69 counts of criminal cases before the anti-graft court.
Court staff confirmed that Jalandoni voluntarily presented himself before the clerk of court on Monday morning, thereby doing away with the probable issuance of a warrant of arrest against him.
Jalandoni, together with former assistant Ombudsman Nenette Padua, is facing a total of 69 counts of criminal cases, with each count worth P30,000.
The 56 counts related to several memoranda and orders containing patches of paper over the signatures and the names of either former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez or former Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro.
Jalandoni however did not sign the papers covering the previous signatures of his superiors, the Ombudsman said. This resulted in 56 counts of removal, concealment or destruction of documents punishable under Article 266 of the Revised Penal Code.
The remaining 13 counts had the same patches, however, the pasted sheets of paper were already signed by Jalandoni, meriting accusations of falsification of documents punishable under Article 171 of the same Code.
The Ombudsman resolved that Jalandoni “systematically tampered with official documents” by superimposing with a patch of paper the signature portions of the documents to surreptitiously show that he is the final approving authority.
In posting his bond on Monday, Jalandoni, however, clarified in a manifestation that he is not waiving his right to assail the Ombudsman resolution that found probable cause in his cases.
“[He will] raise any other objection or avail of any other proper and available remedies for himself,” his lawyer Alexander Poblador told the court.
He also said that he would not abandon his granted relief to question the sufficiency of the 69 charge sheets filed against him.