Friday, December 5, 2008

Baron Geisler files graft raps vs 3 DOJ execs

Actor Baron Geisler on Friday filed before the Office of the Ombudsman graft charges against three Department of Justice officials responsible for recommending the filing of acts of lasciviousness charges against him.

In a QTV Balitanghali report, GMA News' Alex Tinsay reported that Geisler went to the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City to personally file the complaints. He was accompanied by lawyer Bonifacio Alentajan.

Named as respondents in the charge sheet were Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño, Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Miguel Gudio, and State Prosecutor Amanda Felipe.

In the 14-page recommendation approved by Zuño, Felipe, who heads the investigating body, said Geisler should be charged with acts of lasciviousness before the Makati Regional Trial Court.

The DOJ had also dismissed the three counter-charges hurled by Geisler against victim Patrizha Maree Martinez; her celebrity mother Ma. Rosario “Yayo" Aguila; and family friend Steffanie Barrios.

Alentajan said the three prosecutors “abused" their authority and violated the provisions under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act of 1992.

The actor’s lawyer insisted the DOJ could not recommend the filing of cases to a lower court. Geisler’s case stemmed from an April bar incident, where he allegedly invited the victim for sex and made lewd advances on her.

Alentajan said the prosecutors erred when they decided to recommended the filing of acts of lasciviousness charges against his client.

The lawyer said no element of forced threat or intimidation could be established, given that Fiamma Bar, where the incident happened, was reportedly packed at the time.

For his part, Geisler said the battle is not yet finished.

The actor also appealed to the public not to cast judgments about him as long as the issue has not yet been resolved.

As for the dismissal of the perjury and unjust vexation charges, Alentajan said the prosecutors do not have the authority to hand down such decision because it is only reserved to provincial or city courts.