PLM officials, ex-Corona lawyer, dismissed from service

MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman found Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) acting president Jose "Judd" Roy III and vice-president for finance and planning Angelita Solis guilty of grave misconduct and ordered them dismissed from the service. 

Roy was also former PLM law dean and was a member of the defense team of impeached and convicted Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona. Corona was found guilty of betraying the public trust and committing culpable violation of the Constitution in 2012.

Other Pamantasan employees ordered dismissed from the service were: Cecilia Calma, Angeles Ramos, Eloisa Macalinao, Felix Aspiras and Albert Dela Cruz.

The dismissal order stemmed from the illegal procurement in 2006 of a Hyundai Starex van worth P1.1 million. The Ombudsman found that no public bidding was conducted by university officials. Officials instead unlawfully resorted to direct contracting as a mode of procurement. 

The respondents said in their defense that there wasn't enough time to resort to public bidding. The "decision to resort to direct contracting stemmed from the urgency of the end-user's need."

The decision said that "respondents deliberately disregarded the requirements of RA 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act) to favor and give benefits to the dealer of Hyundai Starex van."

The Commission on Audit issued a notice of suspension citing non-compliance with procurement regulations and the lack of the university's annual procurement plan.

Roy and the rest of the accused were "meted the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office and forfeiture of retirement benefits," a statement from the Office of the Ombudsman said.  

Should dismissal no longer be enforceable, it shall be "converted into a fine equivalent to respondent's one year salary," the same statement said. – Rappler.com