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Sandigan clears Andanar's pa in ethics case.

The Sandiganbayan Seventh Division has cleared former Interior undersecretary Wencelito Andanar, father of Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, of his ethics case for his alleged failure to declare a property in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

In a resolution promulgated Nov. 9, the court said it reviewed the case and found no probable cause to try Andanar for two counts of violation of Section 8 of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees for his failure to declare a property in his 2004 and 2005 SALNs.

The court effectively granted the motion of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to withdraw the case after the Ombudsman found no probable cause as well.

'The Court finds merit in the reasons advanced by said Office (of the Ombudsman) in granting accused's motion for reconsideration The Court does not find probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest against the accused,' the Sandiganbayan said.

The state prosecutors earlier informed the court that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has granted Andanar's motion for reconsideration to dismiss the information for lack of probable cause.

Morales gave credence to Andanar's claim that by virtue of a 1999 Waiver of Rights Agreement, all his properties have been transferred to the ownership of his five children.

'Such being the case, the respondent was justified in not declaring subject property in his 2004 and 2005 SALNs and did not violate Section 8 of Republic Act 6713,' Morales said in a resolution approved Nov. 2.

'It is respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court that this Compliance be duly noted and that the prosecution's Motion to Withdraw Informations be approved,' the Ombudsman prosecutors told the court.

'That on April 30, 2006, or sometime prior or subsequent thereto in Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused, Wencelito T. Andanar, then a public officer being an Undersecretary (Salary Grade 30) at the Department of Interior and Local Government, committing the offense in relation to his office, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and criminally fail to declare his property covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-9328, in his sworn Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth for the year 2005, which the law requires to be declared therein, to the damage and prejudice of the public interest,' the complaint read.

Andanar was an original stalwart of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the ruling party of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Andanar served as Department of Interior and Local Government undersecretary for police matters and transnational crime and was briefly appointed as acting Interior chief by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Nov 18, 2016
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