Plunder, libel raps vs Alvarez

Jeffrey Lopez Cabigon

THE fight of former House of Representative Speaker, Rep. Pantaleon ‘Bebot’ Alvarez, to regain his former position suddenly has become rougher and tougher after his former security aide accused him of committing “plunder” even as a Quezon City prosecutor found merit in a libel case filed against him.

In a 12-page complaint filed by Jeffrey Lopez Cabigon before the office of the Ombudsman in Mindanao last Monday, May 6, Alvarez and his erstwhile chief of staff in Congress, Edwin Jubahib, were accused of violating Republic Act (RA) 7080 (Plunder Law) and RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Plunder is a non-bailable offense and is presumed to have been committed by any public official if the aggregate amount of accumulated “ill-gotten wealth” is more than P75 million.

Alvarez is again running to represent the first district of Davao del Norte while Jubahib is now running for governor of the province.

A copy of the complaint executed before Prosecutor Rizalyn Gonzales in Davao City, was furnished  this writer.

In Quezon City, Assistant Prosecutor Marizen B. Grutas rejected the plea of Alvarez for the dismissal of the libel complaint filed against him.

In a 6-page resolution dated April 26, 2019, Grutas said the “defenses” raised by Alvarez in refuting the libel complaint can be “best ventilated during the trial proper.”

Davao del Norte Antonio ‘Tony Boy’ Floirendo Jr. filed the case against Alvarez last year after he accused Floirendo and his family of being “land grabbers” during a press conference in Congress in May 2018.