Baraan's fate up to De Lima - Palace

by Jorge Carino, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 13 2014 07:46 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2014 03:46 AM

MANILA - Malacanang will leave it up to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to decide if Justice Undersecretary Francis Baraan should take a leave of absence from his post.

A graft complaint has been filed against Baraan at the Office of the Ombudsman.

Palace welcomed the case filed by private prosecutor Nena Santos against Baraan, saying it will be a mechanism to settle the issue.

"This is rather a good opportunity for Usec. Baraan to clear his name - if he steadfastly claims that these are all lies - and let the persons who are accusing him be able to prove their claim as well. Usec. Baraan, who claims innocence, can also prove his innocence,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

On the reported bribery attempt on a widow of one of the victims, Malacanang appealed that a report be made on the matter so that appropriate actions can be effected.

"It depends on the person who claimed that she was bribed to come out and present the testimony and we will look into it. Otherwise, we won't be able to act on it e, kasi kailangan mo talaga ng personal knowledge 'nung taong nilagyan or in-offer na bigyan ng lagay," said Lacierda.

He assured that government will continue to pursue the case against the accused in the Maguindanao Massacre.