MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has reversed the Pasig City prosecutor’s ruling that found probable cause to file charges of concubinage against former ambassador to Mexico Francisco "Paqui" Ortigas III and his former executive assistant Maria Anonia Legarda.
In a resolution dated July 25, the DOJ reminded the Pasig City prosecutor that “the purpose of a preliminary investigation is to secure the innocent against hasty, malicious and oppressive prosecution and protect him from open and public accusation.”
The DOJ resolution brings to light allegations that the preliminary investigation was conducted in haste and did not give the accused an opportunity to properly debunk the charges, said a statement from the camp of Ortigas.
The DOJ resolution also directed the Pasig City prosecutor to withdraw the case filed against Ortigas, 67, and Legarda and report the action taken within 10 days.
Susana Madrigal Bayot, Ortigas’ wife of 43 years, filed the concubinage case. In her complaint, Bayot accused her husband of having extra-marital affairs during the course of their 40-year marriage, including one with his private secretary and Bayot's best friend Ma. Antonia Legarda.
Ortigas was arrested in his office last February by virtue of a warrant issued by Pasig Metropolitan Trial Court Judge Joy Nerves Casihan-Dumlao. He later posted bail of P10,000 hours after his arrest.
Both Ortigas and his wife are from powerful clans.
The former ambassador belongs to the Ortigas clan who owns Ortigas and Company, the developer and owner of the Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan and other properties in Mandaluyong and Ortigas.
Bayot, on the other hand, belongs to the Madrigal clan. With a report by Non Alquitran, The Philippine Star