JUST as the ‘Aurorenos’ were about to mark the second year of their top provincial officials came the bad news: Gov. Christian Noveras and his father, Vice-Gov. Gerardo Noveras, were ousted by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Word on the dismissal order got around in March 2024 but it’s officially relayed to the Noveras tandem only on April 5, 2024.

The disparity of these dates triggered some questions: Who leaked the Ombudsman’s order? Was there a mole inside? The people of Aurora and the Noverases were asking as they’d want to know.

The case against them acquires an intriguing twist amid what they claim the complainant’s ‘insufficient direct evidence.’

Approved by Ombudsman Samuel Martires on February 21, 2024, the order was based on graft probers’ finding the Noverases and casual employee Michael Tecuico guilty of grave misconduct, among others.

They’re meted the penalty of dismissal from the service despite ‘insufficient direct evidence’ to pin them down, a counter affidavit of the Noverases’ claimed.

But the Ombudsman probers sided with the complainant Narciso Amansec, a resident, and wrote: “While there may be insufficient direct evidence of their agreement, the conspiracy is implied, as shown by their common objective of printing campaign tarpaulins to further the massive election propaganda of the Noveras and allies.”

The acting governor, Reynante Tolentino, was installed on April 22, 2024 since the Ombudsman’s decision was served already as of that date.

The complaint was filed by Amansec on April 22, 2022 and it stemmed from the incident that happened on March 30, 2022 inside the Aurora Training Center Compound involving the alleged printing of election campaign materials/tarpaulins of the Noverases, then running for governor and vice governor, respectively.

Amansec accused Noveras, Tecuico and two other officials, of having conspired together to print tarpaulins inside the ATC Compound in Baler.

However, Amansec failed to present evidence or proof that the Noverases ordered Tecuico before or during the time that he (Tecuico) allegedly printed the election materials, the Noverases said in the same counter affidavit.

“The complainant also failed to present proof that the father and son have knowledge of the alleged illegal printing,” also stated in the response to the affidavit.