Apostol should seek transfer or resign

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Friday, January 24, 2014


IF Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol has a delicadeza, he would seek a transfer or maybe resign from his job because he is doing a disservice to his office by delaying the resolution of pending cases.

Apostol has failed to resolve high-profile cases, especially involving influential politicians. Imagine, a simple case of possible graft with all documents already presented by the complainant has taken the anti-graft office more than one year to resolve.

I am referring to the complaint filed by Mayor Mike Rama against former mayor Tomas Osmeña on the two Dodge Charger vehicles “donated” by Bigfoot company chairman Michael Gleissner to the city but which were personally used by Tomas.

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The other case is the pilferage of smuggled rice at the Cebu International Port.

Apostol promised to resolve it within two months but until now his office is still gathering documents.

Under the so-called command responsibility principle, Apostol cannot escape blame for the inefficiency in his office. He reasoned out, though, that his office already resolved the case against Osmeña and it is now pending before their central office for final evaluation and approval. That explanation is not acceptable.

What the public wants is immediate and credible results of cases that the anti-graft office has been investigating. Apostol’s office is literally sitting on some cases for reasons that he only knows.

Apostol had bragged that he had reduced the number of pending cases in his office. But based on records, only minor cases were resolved, like those involving ordinary employees.

The ombudsman recently dismissed a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) employee for dishonesty. Good. But that involved a small fry. What happened to the other cases involving influential politicians? What happened to the cases filed by businessman Efrain Pelaez Jr. against the Radazas?

Although, those cases are tainted with political color because Pelaez ran against Paz Radaza in the previous election, he had basis to file those charges. Pelaez and Apostol almost engaged in a fist fight after the former confronted the latter on the cases he filed.

So what happened to those cases I mentioned earlier? Thrown into the garbage basket? If you are the complainant, you would get frustrated by how this office works.

What happened to the case filed by lawyer Alfredo Sipalay against Osmeña involving that canon that was brought by Tomas to his residence in Guadalupe from Plaza Independencia? What happened to the camplaint involving the back filling of the Balili property?

Many other cases are pending before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas. I already lost count of them. With the resolution of these cases delayed, can Apostol expect the public and the media to praise him?

Apostol has a lot of explaining to do. If he cannot cope with the expectation of the public, he better leave Cebu, seek transfer elsewhere or resign.

By the way, who were Apostol’s political backers, those who recommended him to his current position? He was previously assigned with the Ombudsman central office before he was assigned here. He succeeded Primo Miro, who was forced to retire due to an ailment.

To spare his office from any further embarrassment, I think Apostol should quit. Pauli ka lang toya sa Capiz, Mr. Apostol.

***

I was one of the sponsors in the Gabuya-Dionson nuptials yesterday afternoon at the Archbishop’s Palace chapel. As I entered the second gate, I noted that vehicles going in were slowed down by traffic. When it was my turn, I found out that the guard at the gate demanded ID card or driver's license from those who enter the premises.

Nagbinag-o man ning taga Archbishop’s Palace.

I am not questioning their security policy but they should have taken into consideration the volume of guests attending the affair. They should have relaxed a little their policy in demanding for ID cards.

We were not entering a subdivision but a church, which is considered a public place. Amen.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 25, 2014.

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