Ombud nixes complaint vs town councilors-A A +A
Monday, August 6, 2012
THE Office of the Ombudsman–Visayas dismissed the administrative complaint filed by Moises Padilla Vice Mayor Cipriano Remo against eight Municipal Council members after finding no substantial evidence to hold them liable of the charge of grave misconduct and dereliction of duty.
The decision penned by Graft Investigator Irish Inabangan Amores recommended for approval by Virginia Palanca Santiagol and approved by Pelagio Apostol deputy Ombudgsman for Visayas was dated February 15, 2012.
The eight cleared of the administrative charges are incumbent Moises Padilla councilors Marvin Tan, Noli Ogatis and former municipal council members Dolly Yasa, Loreli Aurelio Jose Roy Nalagon, Jesus Damaso Garcia and Alphine Nikko Alonso.
Aurelio passed away last week due a lingering illness cause by an accident while she was performing her duties as then a member of the town council during her first term in 2004-2007.
In the decision, Amores stated, “We cannot reasonably and validly deduce grave misconduct or dereliction of duty on the part of the respondents.”
Remo, in his complaint, said the respondents have been conspicuous in their absences in the sessions of the Municipal Council of Moises Padilla from March to June 2010 and said that due to the respondents’ unexplained and deliberate absences, no quorum was attained by the council, thus no resolution or ordinance was passed up to the filing of the case.
Remo also stated in his complaint that because of the unwarranted behavior of the respondents on March 17, 2012, the council opted to exercise its power provided under paragraph b, section 53, chapter 3, title II, Book 1 of the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991 to order the arrest of its absentee members to compel their appearance and presence in the session.
Remo averred that respondents’ absences run counter to what is mandated by the LGC and could be a ground of disciplinary action.
In its findings, the Ombudsman stated that “perusal of the records revealed that Remo as the complainant failed to substantiate his case.”
“As can be gleaned from the proof of notice to respondents as to the called special sessions for the month of March 2010, the notices were not given to the respondents themselves but to the latter’s relatives or family members,” the decision further stated.
The decision also added that there was no substantial proof that respondents had indeed committed four consecutive absences from the regular sessions of the Municipal Council that might warrant administrative liability.
“Other than the testimonial claim that these respondents incurred absences from the regular session, no convincing evidence was presented to that effect,” the decision said. (Teresa D. Ellera)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 06, 2012.