Ombud junks Lopez case vs. Puentevella, 3 others

THE Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed for lack of probable cause the complaint filed by Bacolod Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez against Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella, former City Legal Officer Rayfrando Diaz, Office of Building Official (OBO) head Isidro Sun Jr., and Building Inspector Jose Maria Makilan.

Lopez alleged that the four officials violated RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Section 3 (e) as amended in relation to alleged violation of Section 4 (e) of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

The dismissal of the case was ordered by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer II Maria Regina Hagad-Fernandez; reviewed by acting director Euphemia Bacalso, and approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales dated July 24, 2015.

Lopez filed the complaint when the suspension order of the Ombudsman against the Sun and Makilan was not implemented on time by Puentevella.

The two OBO officials were found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and were meted the penalty of suspension without pay for six months and a day in the decision dated July 24, 2014.

Their case stemmed from the complaint filed by OBO section heads Sharon Gayanelo, Cary Memoria, and Glenda Pajes, of the OBO Architectural Section, Structural Section and Plumbing, and Sanitary Section, respectively, on Nov. 15, 2013 when they claimed conspiracy between Sun and Makilan in allegedly falsifying the computation sheet in relation to the application of Mainstream Business Inc. with the OBO for a business permit for the expansion of Building B of the North Wing of SM City Bacolod.

Gayanelo and her fellow complainants requested assistance from Lopez on the implementation of the suspension order where he wrote the mayor and asked for the status of the suspension order. Diaz replied to him that they have no obligation to answer him because he is not a party to the case.

Puentevella issued a memorandum order dated December 12, 2014 addressed to Sun and Makilan implementing the suspension, however, it was made effective only on January 1, 2015 in deference to the Christmas season and for humanitarian purpose. CNC)
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