Ombud modifies decision on Ravena, Villalva-A A +A
Thursday, September 20, 2012
THE case that involved an alleged tampered disbursement vouchers during the Valdez administration got an amended decision by the Ombudsman Visayas.
It has modified its decision against City Accountant Eduardo Ravena and City Treasurer Clerk Lalaine Villalva but affirmed its February 21, 2007 decision against former City Account Pioquito Quiñones, Management and Audit Service Office OIC Ricardo Dahildahil Jr., former Executive Assistant Renato Rojo, and Crafts and Trade helper Salvacion Ortega in the administrative case filed by the Commission on Audit-Western Visayas against Pioquito Quiñones, et al.
It said Ravena and Villalva are found guilty of less serious dishonesty and meted the penalty of suspension from office of six months and one day, since it was established that the damage and prejudice caused to the government is not so serious.
These two respondents’ participation in the whole scheme of things was limited only to a single transaction covered by Disbursement Voucher No. 2055 out of the nine transactions/vouchers subject of the case. And incidentally, in the said voucher, former Mayor Joy Valdez was able to personally collect only P38,320, it said.
The Ombudsman said Quiñones, Dahildahil, Rojo, and Ortega were charged with serious damage and grave prejudice to the government to the tune of P324,366.40, representing the aggregate excess amount claimed by Valdez as covered by the eight vouchers (Disbursement Vouchers Nos. 1239, 1702, 2660, 2958, 3130, 4733, 91 and 238).
Ravena said he has not yet read the decision since he was in Roxas Wednesday but was informed about it by Executive Assistant Butch Soliguen.
He said he will still have to consult with his lawyer if they should appeal the decision to seek a shorter suspension period, he said.
Meanwhile, City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said they have received the latest decision Wednesday.
He said they last received the decision of the Ombudsman on April 2011 dismissing the six employees, who then filed their motion for reconsideration, except for Quiñones and Rojo, who are already deceased.
Bayatan said that a year later, the Ombudsman issued a decision modifying its earlier order stating that Ravena and Villalva were found to have committed less serious dishonesty only.
Bayatan said the suspension of Ravena and Villalva took effect first week of July after the city implemented the dismissal order.
On the other hand, Bayatan said City Budget Officer Luzviminda Treyes, Assistant City Treasurer Lilia Ursos and Project Development Officer Leo Villanueva filed their motion for reconsideration with the Ombudsman regarding a similar case (COA VI versus Secretary to the Mayor Brendo Elegio, et al.) that involved only one cash slip.
Hopefully, they would be able to get a favorable action from the Ombudsman similar to that of Ravena and Villalva, he said. (Carla N. Canet)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 20, 2012.