THE Office of the Ombudsman has found former Hinabangan, Samar Mayor Alejandro Abarratigue, Municipal Treasurer Raul Tapia, and Administrative Officer II Analiza Bagro guilty of grave misconduct.
The three were ordered dismissed from service and were meted the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, barred from taking civil service examinations, and forfeiture of retirement benefits.
In case of separation from the service, the penalty is convertible to a fine equivalent to their respective salary for one year.
The Ombudsman also ordered the filing of charges against the three respondents for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019, or the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act."
The case arose from the complaint filed by the Ombudsman's Field Investigation Office Tacloban Regional Office pertaining to the irregular purchase of a parcel of property intended for the expansion of the municipal cemetery.
Abarratigue and the two other respondents facilitated and approved the payment of P500,000 for the lot in 2008.
Investigation revealed that the purchase was not authorized by the Municipal Council of Hinabangan.
"The purchase of lot by respondents was anomalous. It was done without the imprimatur of the SB (Municipal Council) of Hinabangan, Western Samar. The local chief executive is precluded from entering into contract in behalf of the local government unit without securing prior authorization," said the Ombudsman.
Section 3(e) of RA 3019 prohibits public officials from causing any undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference by a public officer and employee are declared to be unlawful. (PNA)