EMBATTLED Diosdado P. Macapagal Memorial Hospital chief Dr. Eddie Ponio seems to defy the decision of an investigation team calling for his dismissal from public office.
Ponio, in a June 19 letter addressed to Gov. Lilia Pineda, said he had consulted the lawyer of the Civil Service Commission regarding his situation.
"I was advised that I can go back to work after all the above mentioned documents have been properly submitted and received by the proper offices," Ponio said.
A source told SunStar Pampanga that Ponio had already reported for work as of press time, to the consternation of hospital employees.
Ponio allegedly took the keys to his office from acting hospital chief Dr. Mona Suazon.
SunStar Pampanga has been trying to get hold of Dr. Ponio, to no avail.
Earlier, a five-man committee recommended that Ponio and administrative aide Ronald Pacquing be dismissed from government service for grave misconduct and partisan political activity in the recent elections.
In its three-page decision, the Investigating Committee chaired by Dr. Marcelo Y. Jaochico said there is substantial evidence to hold Ponio and Pacquing liable for grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the service and partisan political activity.
“We hereby recommend the imposition of the penalty of dismissal from the service in accordance with Sec. 46 and 50 of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the civil service,” the committee said.
Evidence against the two government employees were presented by the Task Force composed of the Provincial General Service Officer led by Francis Maslog, Provincial Information Officer Joel Mapiles and Management Information System head Mary Lou Espaltero.
“There is an actual CCTV recording on April 9, 2019 at 11 a.m. that shows the election materials in bundles inside the Hospital Information System Management Office of the DPMMH handled by a male employee,” the report said. The task force positively identified the individual as Pacquing.
Pacquing allegedly identified Ponio as the one who gave him instructions to print the election materials. The printed election materials found inside the hospital, the task force said, bore the faces and names of Ponio and brother Apolinario G. Ponio, who sought the congressional seat representing Pampanga’s 2nd district. Ponio lost in his congressional bid.
The task force added that equipment such as risograph, computer, and supplies of the DPMMH were utilized “for the personal interest” of Ponio.