Valdemar Chiong of Naga City, Cebu barred from public service
MANILA, Phillipines – Former mayor Valdemar Chiong of Naga City, Cebu was found guilty of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty, administrative charges which perpetually bar him from public service.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales also indicted Chiong for graft, according to the statement from the Office of the Ombudsman on Friday, August 4.
Chiong is facing a graft charge for issuing a mayor's permit in 2014 to Petronas Energy Philippines despite the oil company not presenting a fire safety inspection certificate.
Chiong told Ombudsman investigators that he issued a conditional mayor's permit upon his discretion.
"His allegation that the Mayor's Permit issued is 'conditional' anyway does not negate the Grave Misconduct and the existence of probable cause against him because the issuance of a conditional business permit under DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2011-15 is allowed 'where the only lacking clearances are those of SSS, Philhealth and Pag-IBIG,'" Morales said in her resolution.
Morales added that Chiong violated Section 5(g) of the Fire Code which states that "no occupancy permit, business or permit to operate shall be issued without securing a Fire Safety Inspection Certificate from the Chief, BFP, or the duly authorized representative."
"Chiong deliberately violated the specific requirement of Section 5 (g) of RA No. 9514 (Fire Code) and in doing so, he gave unwarranted benefits, advantage, or preference to Petronas. This clearly shows gross inexcusable negligence and constituted Grave Misconduct and Gross Neglect of Duty on his part in the performance of his duties and responsibilities as a Mayor," Morales said in her resolution.
Chiong served as Naga City's mayor from 2006 to 2016. His daughter, Kristine Vanessa Chiong, is the current city mayor. – Rappler.com