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Court orders arrest of ex-Cagayan de Oro councilor

LANAO DEL NORTE, Philippines – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has ordered the arrest of former Cagayan de Oro City councilor President Elipe and his sister, Pristine Elipe-Quizon, for alleged corruption.

President “Prexy” Elipe is the son-in-law of former mayor and local political kingpin Vicente Emano.

The Sandiganbayan's Fourth Division issued the order based  on a corruption case filed by City Administrator Dionnie Gersana.

Gernasa had accused 4 people – Elipe; Quizon, who then served as Elipe’s secretary; former vice mayor Caesar Ian Acenas; and City Council secretary Arturo de San Miguel – of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial for the best interest to serve.

Acenas and San Miguel had been absolved of the charges.

Case

In his complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman, Gersana said Quizon’s Date and Time Record (DTR) appeared as if she reported for work on October 25, 29, and 30, 2013. Quizon, however, was out of the country during that period. Travel records from the Bureau of Immigration backed it up, which showed that Quizon returned to the country only on October 30, 2013.

The Ombudsman had ruled that Quizon could not have rendered work on October 25, 29, and 30 due to being out of the country.

"She neither denied having affixed her signature on the DTR, which is an act of attesting to the entries' truthfulness and accuracy. Similarly, Elipe does not dispute that, as Quizon's brother and immediate supervisor, he very well knew of her absence and signed her DTR as true and correct. Such are clear acts of dishonesty and falsification," the Ombudsman said in its resolution.

"Their contention that 'offsetting' of overtime work is allowed as a common practice among the confidential staff of the Sanggunian lacks merit, as apart from the absence of evidence to prove its veracity, no law permits such a wrongful practice," the Ombudsman added.

The Ombudsman had found Elipe guilty of serious dishonesty and falsification of an official document and punished him with dismissal from the service.

Motion for reconsideration

Days after the Ombudsman decision came out, Elipe's legal counsel filed a motion for reconsideration with the Court of Appeals.

Cagayan de Oro Police Office City Director Senior Superintendent Ronnie Francis Cariaga said they received the arrest warrant on November 4. The City Public Safety Company tried to serve the warrant to Elipe but he was not found.

Elipe told Sunstar-Cagayan de Oro that there was no warrant was serve to him.

Elipe, a certified public accountant, is now the general manager of the Misamis Oriental Province-owned Pelaez Sports Center. Elipe’s brother-in-law is the Misamis Oriental governor

City councillor Leon Gan and Elipe’s legal counsel also told Sunstar-CDO they had not received a copy of the decision from the Ombudsman denying their motion for reconsideration.

“How come there’s a warrant when we haven’t received the decision from the Ombudsman if our MR was denied,” Gan told Sunstar-CdO. – Rappler.com