FOR lack of merit, the anti-graft body junked the administrative and criminal complaints filed by suspended Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia against the members of the Provincial Board’s (PB) committee on complaints and investigation.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved the joint resolution of graft investigator Gil Rose Corcino-Inovejas dismissing the complaints last June 4.

“The criminal and administrative complaints against respondents are dismissed,” read the resolution of Corcino-Inovejas.

The respondents of the complaints are PB Members Arleigh Jay Sitoy, Grecilda Sanchez, Raul Alcoseba, Peter John Calderon, Christopher Baricuatro and Miguel Antonio Magpale, who composed the committee on complaints and investigation.

Garcia charged the committee members with violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act (RA) 3019) and Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713).

Sought for comment, Garcia said he will file another complaint for grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct against the committee members for allegedly “giving undue favor to another resulting in injury to another party.”

Separate complaints

Garcia told reporters he will also file a separate complaint against PB Member Sanchez for allegedly acting as counsel for Dumanjug Vice Mayor Efren Guntrano Gica.

He admitted that when he filed the complaints last year, which the anti-graft body recently dismissed, the investigation by the PB against him was not yet done.

The investigation resulted in the suspension of Garcia for six months.

“The charge for violation of RA 3019 must likewise be dismissed,” read the Ombudsman’s decision, stating that the elements for the criminal offense were absent.

The anti-graft body explained that there was no demand or request made by Garcia to the respondents to require Gica to answer the mayor’s complaints. The committee members may order Gica to answer within a reasonable time, under the circumstances.

There was also no evidence that the committee members acted to obtain pecuniary or material benefit, or discriminated against the mayor.

“Administrative complaint for violation of RA 6713, grave misconduct and abuse of authority is dismissed for lack of merit,” read the Ombudsman’s joint resolution.

The PB committee on complaints and investigation, in its earlier report, recommended the six-month suspension of Garcia without pay after they found the mayor liable for grave misconduct and grave abuse of authority. The suspension stemmed from the complaints filed by Gica over the appointment of their Sangguniang Bayan secretary.

Gica appointed Nerio Aquino, while Garcia admitted that he “designated” Emmilou Cabonillas for the same post.

The Local Government Code provides that the vice mayor has the authority to appoint all personnel of the Sanguniang Bayan. Garcia, however, argued that he was the one who declared the post vacant.

Gov. Hilario Davide III approved and ordered Garcia’s suspension last May.