Court’s decision on Kentex case, victory for Valenzuela, all LGUs – Mayor Rex

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Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian on Tuesday hailed the decision Sandiganbayan for affirming its dismissal of the graft and reckless imprudence charges filed against him in connection with the May 2015 Kentex Manufacturing Corp. fire.

“We are grateful to the Honorable Court for the meritorious decision on the motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsman,” Gatchalian told Politiko in a text message.

In its decision, the court’s Second Division denied the Office of the Ombudsman’s appeal regarding its Dec. 13 resolution, finding no probable cause for Gatchalian’s indictment.

The Ombudsman’s motion for reconsideration filed lasat Jan. 3 was merely rehashed of its original arguments, the court said

Aside from Gatchalian, also cleared were Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) officer in charge Renchi May Padayao and licensing officer, Eduardo Carreon.

The court maintained that city official should not be faulted for issuing business permits to Kentex even without a fire safety inspection certificate (FSIC).

“This decision reiterates what the LGU of Valenzuela has been saying since day 1, that we were merely following lawful dictates and instructions,” Gatchalian said.

The Valenzuela mayor also said that the court’s decision is not a victory alone of the city but of all local government units (LGUs) who implement ease of doing business procedures.

“The decision is a victory not only of Valenzuela but of all LGUs’s who implement ease of doing business procedures this is a victory for anti-red tape champions and for the country’s competitiveness,” Gatchalian added.