City engineer who refused to issue fence permit sued

SUSPENDED Carcar City Engineer Santiago Saducas-Calinawan Jr. will face trial for his alleged refusal to issue a fencing permit to a landowner last year.

Eleanor Tayad-de Mira, graft investigation and prosecution officer, found evidence to charge Calinawan Jr. with violation of Sec. 3(e) of Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

“Respondent’s act of refusing to grant or failure to act on complainant’s application despite lapse of a considerable period of time have unwarranted benefits (to a city councilor),” read the resolution penned by de Mira.

The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has also suspended Calinawan or one year without pay for grave abuse of authority/oppression and Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by one Alejandra Aleonar, who accused Calinawan of violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Aleonar, who owns a parcel of land in Barangay Cogon, Poblacion I, Carcar City, said that her representative filed an application for fencing permit last Jan. 13, 2016.

By end of January 2016, Aleonar’s representative followed their fencing permit application only to be informed by the Building Official of Carcar City headed by Calinawan that it cannot issue the permit due to the pending case involving the same property.

Aleonar’s son, Alvin, called Calinawan about their pending fencing permit, but the latter told the former that he could not issue the permit since Carcar City Councilor Harold Nacua told him of the supposed pending case over the same property.

Alvin asked for a copy of the complaint so they could respond, but the city engineer failed to produce any document.

Alvin said he submitted the required documents for such permit, but Calinawan refused to issue them the fencing permit after 15 days from the time they filed the application.

Replying to the charges, Calinawan said that Aleonar merely made “sweeping” accusations that he violated the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

He said he immediately acted on Aleonar’s fencing application when she filed it in January 2016 and that the corresponding building was issued on Feb. 18, 2016.

When Aleonar’s son visited his office to follow-up about the fencing permit, Calinawan said he informed him about Councilor Nacua’s opposition to their application. In the decision, de Mira, the graft investigator, held that Calinawan “excessively” used his authority when he gave weight to the unsubstantiated allegations of Councilor Nacua about the pending case involving Aleonar’s property. (GMD)
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