BAGUIO CITY(July 13, 2021) — Former San Fernando City, La Union administrator Gary Glenn Fantastico and several others including a Manila Regional Trial Court Judge, a Manila Assistant Prosecutor and another lawyer were sued before the Ombudsman for “lying” on the former official’s Supreme Court’s conviction of attempted murder.
This after the Civil Service Commission-Region 1 recalled Fantastico’s appointment as San Fernando City administrator on April 21, 2021 “for his lack of good moral character” because of his conviction wayback in June 15, 2015.
Fantastico’s appointment was pushed by San Fernando City Mayor Herminigildo Gualberto Jr. on November 2020.
Until recently, the San Fernando City council discovered about Fantastico’s final conviction, hence, rejecting his appointment pointing out ‘it is immoral and illegal to appoint a convicted individual into government service.’
On July 5, 2021, San Fernando City Councilors Rizalde Laudencia and Antonio Jucar formally sued Fantastico, his co-accused in the attempted murder Rolando Villanueva, their legal counsel Adonis Angelo Macam, Manila RTC branch 11 Judge Cicero Jurado Jr. and Manila assistant city prosecutor Jesse Tiburan at the Ombudsman for alleged “Knowingly Rendering an Unjust Judgment under Article 204 of the Revised Penal Code” and alleged violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).
Judge Jurado’s reversal of Fantastico’s conviction could not stand because both Court of Appeals (CA) and the SC ruled against him. On June 15, 2015, the SC issued judgment on Fantastico and Villanueva’s conviction as final and executory.
The SC also denied and noted “without action” Fantastico and Villanueva’s “motion for leave,” though asking the High Court to allow them to file a second motion for reconsideration.
San Fernando City councilors also questioned before the Ombudsman
why Judge Jurado granted a petition for new trial and for reversing his earlier conviction of Fantastico and Villanueva, a day after it was lodged on October 13, 2015, four months after the SC final ruling. Worse, even the Manila Assistant prosecutor did not oppose it.
The complainants stressed that Jurado’s second decision, “was clearly illegal and even allowed Fantastico and Villanueva to avoid imprisonment and the payment of damages.”
Laudencia, a lawyer himself stressed that Jurado, the counsel of Fantastico Atty. Macam and Assistant City Prosecutor Tiburan “disobeyed the SC and mocked the criminal justice system” and “caused injury to the government, the Supreme Court, and the justice system, the victim and his heirs.” They also granted unwarranted advantage, benefits, and preference to Fantastico and Villanueva, he added. Thus, the SC is also being asked to disbar the three for mocking the justice system.
San Fernando City Councilors promised “they cannot just sit and do nothing in the face of the blatant and shameless criminal acts committed by persons who are supposed to uphold the law and to obey and respect the Supreme Court at all times.” They also vowed that actions of City officials must undergo complete and thorough staff work to avoid the commission of illegal and irregular acts.***Artemio A. Dumlao***