A TOP official of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP), who is facing charges before the Office of the Ombudsman along with the late university president Dr. Ricardo Rotoras in connection with an unfinished P200 million building project, is reportedly leaving the university.

A source who declined to be named said lawyer Jonathan Oche, USTP's vice president for administration and legal affairs, has not been seen in the university for some time now fueling talks that he has resigned from his post.

A government lawyer who also requested anonymity said she was asked to take over as the state university’s vice president for administration and legal affairs supposedly to replace Oche.

The lawyer, however, said she refused the offer.

She said the offer, made some two weeks ago, was made through another lawyer whom she supposed served as an intermediary of the university.

But she said she turned down the offer in light of the recent controversies that hit the state university.

She said Oche’s position may have been offered first to the lawyer-intermediary who also declined the position.

"Naay nag-offer pero dili ko interesado. Giingnan gani ko nga ipatan-aw sa website kung gi-open na ba gyud. But bahin anang nag-resign I don't know," the lawyer said.

(There was an offer but I’m not interested. I was even told to check the website to verify it.)

"Besides daghan problema diha and daghan admin cases," she added.

(Besides there are so many issues in the school including administrative cases)

Asked regarding Oche’s status, the university’s human resource office declined to categorically say if Oche had indeed resigned or whether he was just on leave.

Repeated calls and text messages to USTP president-OIC Rosalito Quirino went unanswered.

Oche is facing administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman and disbarment cases before the Supreme Court in connection with the unfinished P200 million building construction project at USTP.

The cases were filed by the contractor Engineer Selwyn Lao, president of Wing-An Construction and Development Corporation.

Lao has been asserting his claims that the 8-storey Student Center and Education complex was illegally terminated and his collectibles were intentionally withheld by the USTP officials including Oche.

"I have heard also na nag-resigned na nga daw siya," Lao said.