Dismissed execs told to leave ASAP-A A +A
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
AFTER finding them guilty of grave misconduct, the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas yesterday asked three Capitol officials to immediately leave their posts.
Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol said the dismissal of the Capitol officials—Provincial Budget Officer Emme Gingoyon, then Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre (now acting provincial assessor) and Provincial Engineer Eulogio Pelayre—is deemed “immediately executory.”
“If they will not vacate, pwede silang pwersahan na paalisin (They can be forced to go),” Apostol told reporters.
He said that although the ombudsman’s ruling is not yet final, only a temporary restraining order (TRO) from a higher court can stop the implementation of the dismissal order.
Lawyer Dara Acusar, Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale’s legal and media consultant, said they have not seen Apostol’s order yet so they cannot act on it.
The Office of the Ombudsman found the three officials, along with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, then Provincial Board Member Juan Bolo and then Provincial Assessor Anthony Sususco, guilty of grave misconduct over the Balili lot purchase in 2008.
Salubre, Sususco and Pelayre were members of the Provincial Appraisal Committee when the Province considered and eventually decided to buy the property in the City of Naga.
The ombudsman found irregularities in the purchase of the lot, not only because a big portion of it was submerged, but also because funds intended for another project were used in the transaction.
Garcia was spared the administrative liability because of the Aguinaldo Doctrine.
Sususco retired in March last year and Bolo is no longer in government.
The ombudsman directed the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Bureau of Local Government and Finance to enforce the order and submit compliance reports in 10 days.
The Regional Association of Treasurers and Assessors (Regata) in Central Visayas and the Philippine Association of Local Treasurers and Assessors in the national level have only sympathies for Salubre.
Cebu City Treasurer Emma Villarete said Regata can offer financial assistance to Salubre.
Villarete said Salubre’s ordeal is one of the reasons that Regata does not support the move to localize treasurers.
If the treasurers are localized, she said, they can be replaced at the whim of the local government executive.
In a press conference yesterday, Apostol denied allegations that the Capitol officials were not given chance to answer the allegations raised in the case.
Apostol said the anti-graft office cannot afford to violate due process. He added that the officials may raise their issues when they file a motion for reconsideration.
He said that while the findings against Garcia have been mooted under the Aguinaldo Doctrine, anyone can file a disqualification case against the governor before the Commission on Elections. He declined to elaborate, however.
The Aguinaldo Doctrine is a Supreme Court jurisprudence considers moot all administrative cases filed against an elected public official who gets reelected.
Apostol said the doctrine limits the ombudsman’s decisions but the anti-graft office has to abide by it otherwise it will be accused of depriving the sovereign will of the people who voted for the official.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 06, 2013.