MANILA, Phlippines – A group of employees of Duty Free Philippines Corporation on Wednesday, March 27, urged the Office of the Ombudsman to resolve their two-year-old plunder, graft, and administrative complaints against top DFPC officials.
The 10 complainants filed a Motion for Early Resolution, invoking Section 16, Article 3 of the Constitution guaranteeing the rights of all persons to a “speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies.”
“The protracted resolution not only caused mental anguish and severe anxiety to us plaintiffs but has also taken a great toll on our emotional, physical and financial conditions, especially because one of the respondents in the case is the Chief Operating Officer of Duty Free Philippines Corporation, the company where we work,” they said.
They also asked that one of the respondents – DFPC Chief Operating Officer Vicente Pelagio Angala – be placed under preventive suspension pending the completion of the Ombudsman’s investigation.
The complainants are Alexander Sablan, Nestor Zabala, Eric Oracion, Carlito Ardales, Nilo Duarte, Joaquin Vibal, Ernesto Mangalindan. Francis Daco, Romeo Silva Jr, and Rizalino Santos.
In their complaint filed in March 2017, the employees said Angala and former DFPC COO now director Lorenzo Formoso refused to comply with the Supreme Court decision issued on December 7, 1998, giving contractual employees regular status as direct hires of Duty Free Philippines, as it was called then, from 1997.
DFPC management later issued appointment papers that made it appear that the complainants began their government service only on January 1, 2016.
Because of this, the complainants said they had been deprived of compensation and benefits due government workers who have worked longer in the service.
They also accused Angala and Formoso of profiting from their positions though manpower contracts with DFP Services Incorporated (DFPSI), a private company where the two reportedly held and used to hold positions, respectively.
They claimed that DFPSI profited from its deal with DFPC by allegedly passing to the latter its P120.25 million tax liabilities representing value-added tax assessed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue from 1989 to 1996. This was supported by a 1998 Commission on Audit report.
In their latest motion, the complainants asked the Ombudsman to hasten the investigation, alleging Angala had harassed them, including the filing of libel complaints against them before the Parañaque Prosecutor’s Office and administrative charges before the Ombudsman.
The Parañaque Prosecutor’s Office junked the libel complaint “for lack of probable cause” on October 4, 2017, while the Ombudsman dismissed the complaint administrative on August 31, 2017, as there was “no substantial evidence.” – Rappler.com
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