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Acosta strikes back amidst Ombudsman probe

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by Allan Yves Briones

Immediately after the Office of the Ombudsman announced a preliminary investigation regarding corruption allegations hurled against her, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta filed a counter-affidavit denying all the accusations.

“I vehemently deny all the accusations brandished against me for being unfounded, malicious, baseless, fabricated and concocted to malign me and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) which I head,” Acosta said in a 45-page affidavit.

According to Acosta, the charges were “concocted to malign” her and PAO, and that the allegations of fund misuse had no basis.

A manifestation signed by unnamed “PAO lawyers” alleged that Acosta used the Dengvaxia controversy to enrich herself by fraudulently overstocking office supplies, and pocketing state funds.

Another complaint filed by a Wilfredo Garrido, Jr. hit on the creation of the PAO Forensic Laboratory.

Acosta maintained that the complaint was a “demolition job”, and that the creation of the laboratory was necessary and that “no public funds were misappropriated nor used other than for what they were intended for by law.”

“The PAO Forensic Laboratory is aimed to promote the office’s capacity building and manpower empowerment to answer the needs of the PAO clients who are victims,” the affidavit read.

Acosta also filed a 7-page motion last Friday to strike out the manifestation filed by alleged PAO lawyers, alleging that the anonymous document is without value for lack of evidence.

“Thus, it must be treated as a mere scrap of paper with no value at all other than to be at the trash bin and deserves scant consideration; hence, must (be) stricken out of the records of this case,” she said.

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