Ombudsman issues 2nd dismissal order vs Iloilo City’s Mabilog

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman issued a 2nd dismissal order against former Iloilo City mayor Jed Mabilog, this time over a graft case for allegedly putting up a towing company which eventually bagged a towing contract in the city.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales found Mabilog guilty of the administrative offense of "grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service," according to a statement released on Wednesday, January 3.

It would be his 2nd dismissal order from service. In October, the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed Mabilog due to questionable wealth. The case involves the unexplained P8.9-million increase in Mabilog’s net worth from 2012 to 2013.

Mabilog failed to secure a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) from the Court of Appeals to reverse his dismissal from the questionable wealth case.

Mabilog has already been indicted for one count of graft over the towing project. The case has yet to be formally filed at the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.

Towing mess

Mabilog’s councilor in 2015, Plaridel Nava II, accused the former mayor of creating 3L Towing Services.

The towing firm won a project with the city, where they got 70% of the fines collected, with 30% going to the local government.

Mabilog struck down the agreement, because the owner of the firm Leny Garcia withdrew, citing legal issues. Nava said Garcia was only a dummy owner, and that Mabilog instructed him to look for a dummy owner.

Morales said that Garcia’s withdrawal from the project does not clear Mabilog of administrative liability.

“The obvious purpose of such withdrawal was to cancel the MOA in an attempt to avoid further scrutiny considering that complainant Manuel Mejorada had already filed the complaint-affidavit almost a month prior to Garcia’s letter of withdrawal,” said the resolution.

Both the indictment and dismissal were caused by the non-compliance with procurement processes.

“Ombudsman Morales also directed the Field Investigation Office of the OMB-Visayas to conduct an immediate fact-finding investigation against Nava for a possible administrative case against him as he openly admitted against his own interest, that he was the one who approached Garcia to serve as respondent’s dummy, upon the latter’s earlier instruction, to look for someone they could trust,” the Office said in the statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte has always ranted against Mabilog for allegedly making Iloilo the "most shabulized" city in the country. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is conducting a lifestyle check.  Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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