THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has suspended for one month and a day without pay former Busay Barangay Captain Eliodoro Sanchez over the alleged misuse of a government vehicle in 2014.
Maria Regina Hagad-Fernandez, graft investigation officer, found Sanchez, who is now the village’s councilman, liable for simple misconduct for failing to present a trip ticket.
“Clearly, there was a transgression of some established and definite rule of action by the respondent,” Fernandez said in her seven-page decision.
Lawyer Maria Corazon Naraja, Ombudsman-Visayas’ spokesperson, said that Sanchez’s suspension will be served regardless of his current position.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Central Visayas is tasked to implement the decision, she said.
Sought for comment, Sanchez said he will file a motion for reconsideration on the Ombudsman’s ruling.
But he said he is ready to accept the suspension order once it will be served to him.
Sanchez admitted that he used his government-owned vehicle without the trip ticket but said it was not for a personal trip.
The case stemmed from the administrative complaint filed by the Ombudsman-Visayas’ Field Investigation Office, accusing Sanchez of misconduct over the misuse of a Toyota Hilux (SKV-487).
The government vehicle, which was issued by the Cebu City Government, was spotted on Salinas Drive last May 11, 2014, a Sunday.
The respondent failed to present the driver’s ticket for the vehicle’s use that day.
Replying to the charges, Sanchez said he and a barangay tanod brought the vehicle to a machine shop for a change oil in Barangay Lahug.
No barangay hall staff was able to prepare the trip ticket because it was a Sunday. Sanchez said that the decision to have the vehicle oil changed that day was a judgment call.
He did it to prevent damage to the vehicle assigned to him.
However, Fernandez held that Sanchez is still liable for failing to secure a trip ticket.
“The need of a change oil does not qualify as an emergency case that would justify the absence of a trip ticket,” she said.
The DILG was then instructed by the Ombudsman to implement the suspension order and submit a compliance report.