Inquirer/Cebu Daily News

MANILA — A former mayor’s declaration of love for his common law wife has failed to sway Ombudsman prosecutors, who want to continue pursuing perjury charges against him for allegedly naming the wrong spouse in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor has asked the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division to deny the motion of Arnelito Garing, former mayor of Cabucgayan in Biliran, seeking a reinvestigation of his criminal case, which came about because he allegedly named his common law wife Maurilina Oledan as his spouse in the SALNs, instead of his legal wife Generosa Dosal.

Garing earlier contested his perjury charges before the court, saying, among others, that he had accomplished his SALN in good faith and named Oledan as his spouse because he had been living with her all those years.

He had also said he could no longer find Dosal even with the help of the National Bureau of Investigation, and added that as far as he is concerned, it is Oledan with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life.

But the OSP, in its opposition, said Garing had “deliberately asserted falsehood” when he chose to declare Oledan as his wife in his SALN for the years 2000 to 2003.

It said he knew very well that his marriage to Dosal was still valid. He could not use as an excuse his contention that he no longer knows where Dosal is and could not find her, it said. A court has to declare a spouse to be presumed dead before the other spouse could remarry, it added. /INQUIRER

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