3 firemen in hot water

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Saturday, May 5, 2012


THREE employees of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) recently received a slew of charges from Baguio City’s fire chief ranging from simple misconduct, falsification of public documents to malversation of funds.

The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the military and other law enforcement officers received the complaints against the employees and found the complaints of Senior Superintendent Richard Villanueva sufficient in form.

BFP employees charged by the fire chief before the Ombudsman were Fire Officer 1 (FO1) Evonne Damilo, FO2 Nellie Cudao and Fire Senior Inspector Jesse Annasiw.

Damilo was administratively charged with misconduct and malversation as Baguio Fire Station’s supply accountable office personnel, specifically for the procurement of copy machines and projectors.

Based on the complaint filed by Villanueva, Damilo allegedly did not fully turned over to the supply officer the bundled items included in the purchase of a photocopier worth P295,720 and two projector sets with screen worth P47,396 each.

Villanueva said in his complaint that the employee failed to turn over P108,788 worth of bundled items for the purchase, including 10 reams of copy paper, two units of Brother DCP-195C printer, two units HP Pavillon S36200 desktop computer and one unit of Acer laptop computer.

This resulted in the fire chief issuing a memorandum to the respondent for failure to account the items. However, the respondent ignored the directive; therefore, prompting the complainant to institute the suit before the Ombudsman.

The Deputy Ombudsman’s graft investigation and prosecution officer Eric Dumpilo recommended Damilo last September 28, 2011 to be charged with malversation before the Regional Trial Court with the resolution approved by Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro.

As approved by the Deputy Ombudsman, the graft investigation and prosecution officer also found the respondent guilty of the administrative offense of simple misconduct and penalized her with three months suspension without pay.

Meanwhile, Annasiw and Cudao were also charged before the Ombudsman by Villanueva for falsification of public documents and Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code or falsification by a public officer.

Aside from the earlier charges, Annasiw was also administratively charged with a case of dishonesty, gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct.

Based on the affidavit-complaint of the fire chief last February 29, Office of the Deputy Ombudsman director Dennis Garcia ordered the respondents to file within 10 days their counter affidavit last March 22.

The cases against the two BFP employees are now under preliminary investigation by the Ombudsman.

Villanueva earlier said he will continue with his crusade to cleanse the BFP, particularly the Baguio Fire Station, by reminding employees of their responsibilities and by filing appropriate charges against erring officers.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 05, 2012.

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