DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman announced on Thursday, November 5, that it has ordered the dismissal from service of 3 mayors and 27 other local officials from all over Mindanao for various offenses in the performance of their functions.
The Ombudsman anounced the dismissal from service of Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno; Mayor Vicente Fernandez of Matanao, Davao del Sur; and Mayor Ali Untao Adiong of Ditsa-an Ramain, Lanao del Sur.
They are also perpetually barred from holding public office.
Moreno, who is seeking re-election in 2016, was found liable for grave misconduct for entering into a settlement agreement with Ajinomoto Philippines without prior authorization from the Sangguniang Panlungsod (Provincial Council). This is in violation of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code, the Ombudsman said.
The agreement allowed Ajinomoto to pay just P300,000 ($6,397), instead of its original local business tax deficiency of P2.9 million ($61,840), the Ombudsman said. Glenn Bañez, officer-in-charge of the Treasurer’s Office, was also dismissed.
Fernandez, who is facing criminal charges for the murder of a journalist, was found to have been discharging functions while in detention, including issuing office orders, business permits and appointments, and signing official documents.
He was ordered dismissed from the service for grave misconduct, and also criminally indicted for usurpation of official functions under the Revised Penal Code.
Adiong was found guilty of grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct, and oppression for allegedly ordering the burning of a truck owned by a private company JERA General Construction.
Criminal charges vs Mindanao execs
The Ombudsman also said that 3 other mayors, 4 vice mayors, and 30 other local officials in Mindanao had been criminally indicted last month for various charges including malversation, failure to liquidate cash advances, and irregularities in the procurement process.
The Ombudsman said that former CDO mayor Vicente Emano, Tandag City Mayor Alexander Pimentel, and Mayor Diosdado Pallasigue of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, have been criminally indicted.
It found probable cause to indict Emano for his willful refusal to implement a final and executory decision of the Civil Service Commission to Leonor Esparcia to her original position as administrative aide III at the JR Borja General Hospital.
Pimentel was charged with violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. His case stemmed from his his refusal to pay Provincial Council member Mario Cuartero a total of P485,369.24 ($10,349) in salaries and allowances from July 2010 to June 2011.
Pallasigue faces charges for refusing to implement a return to work order issued by the CSC in favor of Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Elias Segura, Jr, in March 2014 .
“He was found to have acted with manifest partiality and evident bad faith in refusing to implement lawful orders from competent authorities without justifiable cause,” the Office of the Ombudsman said. – with a report from Editha Caduaya/Rappler.com
US$1 = P46.89
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