Ceset head tagged in ‘garbagegate’ willing to go on leave from City Hall work

File photo
File photo

A RESPONDENT of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 plunder and corruption case is willing to take a leave of absence from her job pending a further probe into the alleged anomalous P239-million garbage collection deal between the Cebu City Government and two private firms.

Grace Luardo-Silva told SunStar Cebu Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, that she is willing to obey the instructions of Mayor Michael Rama.

Silva is currently the head of the Cebu Environmental Sanitation and Enforcement Team (Ceset), which is the City Government’s lead office in transforming garbage hot spots into mini-parks. She was included as a respondent for her former role in the Department of Public Services (DPS) Garbage Collection and Disposal as its officer-in-charge.

Rama told reporters on Saturday, Dec. 17, that the nature of the complaint affects the trust and confidence of the involved officials and they will be asked to go on leave while the City Attorney’s Office and the Human Resources Development Office review their cases.

Last Dec. 14, the NBI 7 filed plunder, graft and corruption charges, among others, against 15 individuals, including former and incumbent City Government officials.

They are alleged to have violated Section 1(d)(1) of Republic Act (RA) 7080 as amended by Section 12 of RA 7659 (Plunder), Section 3(e) of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code (Malversation of Public Funds and Property) and Republic Act 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees) for gross neglect of duty.

Luardo-Silva said the allegations have affected her reputation and undermined the sacrifices and hard work made by their office to help improve the city’s garbage issue.

“All of our hard work — no day[s] off, no holidays... we worked day and night just for the betterment of the city — are gone, including the trust,” Luardo-Silva said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

Luardo-Silva further said she did not gain anything from the alleged anomalous multi-million garbage collection deal between the City Government and Docast Construction/JJ &J Construction and General Supply.

Despite this, she said that her leave of absence from the City Government will allow her to spend more time with her family.

“Siguro, gitubag ang mga pagampo sa akong duha ka anak nga tagaan nako sila og quality time labi na sa panahon sa pasko. Sa una wala man koy pasko, walay bag-ong tuig kay puro trabaho,” said Luardo-Silva.

(Perhaps, my two children’s prayers that I would give them quality time, especially during Christmas, have been answered. In the past, I had no Christmas, no New Year because I was all work.)

Other persons charged were former city administrator Floro Casas Jr., DPS Head John Jigo Dacua, DPS inspection officer Allen Omlero Ceballos, DPS City Treasurer’s Office inspector Romelito Asinjo Datan, DPS General Services Office inspector Mark Abarquez Ugbinar, OIC-city accountant Jerome Visarra Ornopia and acting city treasurer Mare Vae Fernandez Reyes.


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