Ombud told: Probe complaint vs. son of town official-A A +A
Thursday, October 18, 2012
THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas was asked to look into the allegedly anomalous transactions committed by the son of Consolacion Municipal Administrator Crispin Cañeda in dealing with various government-funded projects in the municipality.
But Deputy Ombudsman Pelagio Apostol yesterday said the letter complaint of Janice Cabiao was not received by his office.
Cabiao’s one-page letter-complaint dated Oct. 2 was addressed to Apostol and furnished to different media outlets.
The letter-complaint was not stamped received by the Visayas Ombudsman.
Apostol, in an interview, said Cabiao, of Barangay Casili, Consolacion town, Cebu, has to substantiate her allegations by providing the anti-graft office with the necessary documentary evidence about the transactions.
In the letter complaint, Cabiao said that all state-funded infrastructure projects of Consolacion town government are cornered by E. Cañeda Construction, FDRCon Company, Inc., Maningo Enterprises and Eccon, which are all owned by Engr. Edwin Cañeda, the son of the municipal administrator.
Cabiao alleged that the town administrator “personally demands” the immediate issuance of the checks for payment of bills by the company that undertook the government projects.
The supposed demand for payments was made even before the town treasurer and engineering offices could assess the billings and the projects that were undertaken.
The complainant said the acts of the younger Cañeda violate Sec. 179 of the Local Government Code of 1991, which prohibits any public official or employee from engaging in any business transaction with the local government unit.
“Please investigate and look into the matter as I sincerely believe that this is a case of a clear conflict of interest,” the complaint read.
When sought for comment, the elder Cañeda said all the companies are legitimate and can transact business with the Consolacion Municipal Government, as long as all transactions are lawful and based on government procedures.
However, Crispin said the complainant was lying when she said all the four companies
are owned by his son Edwin, who is also holding office in this residence.
The city administrator explained that only Eccon is owned by his son. He said Edwin previously owned E. Cañeda Construction under a single proprietorship, but this was converted into a corporation with the name Eccon by the Securities and Exchange
Crispin said Eccon and the other companies owned by other people participated in the public bidding of Consolacion projects conducted by the bidding and awards committee (BAC) chaired by Engr. Carlito Maglasang.
“I am not a member of BAC. I did not demand for the issuance of any check because under the rules, all checks are only issued if all the necessary requirements are there,” Crispin said.
Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado said Cañeda is a former municipal officer, former municipal planning and development coordinator and former local civil registrar before he retired from government service.
“I hired him as municipal administrator because he knows the laws on local governance and ethical standards on government officials and employees. He is highly respected in the community,” Alegado said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 18, 2012.