Job-order employee ‘admits’ taking vehicle

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Monday, May 12, 2014


IT WASN’T him. Not even if his ID was in the vehicle when members of the City Traffic Operations Management clamped the Cebu City Hall multicab for parking illegally near a beerhouse on Pelaez St. at dawn last Saturday.

Arnold Lauron, a member of the local school board, said he and three other colleagues went to Barangay Labangon last Friday where they had an activity. He wasn’t driving.

After that, he said, they returned the vehicle to City Hall.

He only forgot his bag in the vehicle that was why his ID was inside.

Lauron appeared yesterday before the investigating body the City formed to investigate the matter.

City Legal Officer Jerone Castillo, who heads the investigation, said he immediately issued a notice for classificatory conference to the four personnel of the local school board who allegedly used the vehicle without permission.

Explanation letter

The other three personnel were identified as Engr. Roel Tahom, Pergentino Carwana and Severino Cardente.

Records from the General Services Office show that the memorandum of receipt of the vehicle was under Tahom’s name.

All four men were asked to submit explanation letters.

“As far as the hearing body is concerned, there was already admission,” Castillo said.

Based on their investigation, Cardente was behind the wheel.

Although he refused to be interviewed, Castillo said Cardente admitted using the vehicle to go out drinking after office hours without permission from his immediate superior.

As a protocol, a City-owned vehicle is issued a trip ticket when it goes out for an assignment.

‘No mercy’

Cardente also admitted buying an additional drink before heading out to the beerhouse on Pelaez St. to explain the empty beer bottle inside the vehicle, Castillo said.

Ester Cubero of the local school board said Cardente and Lauron are job-order employees.

With Cardente’s admission, Castillo said they might already resolve the issue and recommend to Mayor Michael Rama not to renew his contract.

As a general rule, City-issued vehicles should be parked at City Hall after office hours.

The only exception is when a custodian or an authorized employee has an early commitment the following day.

Rama, for his part, said although the City is considerate, Cardente has to suffer the consequences of his wrongdoing.

“No mercy will be given to anyone who is too showy for abuse of authority,” the mayor said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 13, 2014.

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