Philippine economy

Ombudsman clears 5 SBMA officials of charges filed by ex-SBMA chair Diño

Randy Datu

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Ombudsman clears 5 SBMA officials of charges filed by ex-SBMA chair Diño
In dismissing the case, the Ombudsman says the SBMA officials 'acted only in accordance with the law'

SUBIC BAY, Philippines—The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said Tuesday, September 17, that the Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed a complaint filed against the agency’s 5 senior officials two years ago by then SBMA chair Martin Diño.

In a statement, the SBMA said, Ombudsman Samuel Martires ruled that  Diño’s allegations of  grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, gross ignorance of the law, and grave abuse of authority/oppression against the SBMA executives were without basis. 

In the complaint he filed on July 19, 2017, Diño named SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator Ramon Agregado, Deputy Administrator for Finance Antonietta Sanqui, Treasury Department manager Myrna Caseja, Accounting Department manager Emilia Canonizado, and Budget Department manager Editha Marzal .

The Ombudsman said the 5 SBMA officials “acted only in accordance with the law.”

Diño, who is now undersecretary for barangay affairs of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, accused the 5 SBMA senior executives of rejecting his claim for salary as SBMA chairman.

The SBMA officials, however, denied the charges and said that under the law it was not Diño who was the real plantilla officer, but the SBMA administrator who also serves as chief executive officer.

Under this setup, they added, the SBMA issued salary only to the SBMA administrator and only paid out per diems to the SBMA chairman based on the latter’s attendance at board meetings.

In dismissing the complaint, the Ombudsman observed that Diño’s only basis to justify his demand for salary was Executive Order (EO) 673 signed in 2007, which fixed the salary of the SBMA chairman to be the same as that of the SBMA administrator and amended Section 1 of EO 340, which reorganized the SBMA Board of Directors. –


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