Engineer sacked for asking P500,000 from contractor

THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has dismissed from service a municipal engineer from Dumanjug town, Cebu for allegedly soliciting P500,000 from a contractor in exchange for the submission of a final inspection report.

Marie Fe Frances Seville-Ang, graft investigation and prosecution officer, fired Danilo Phua for violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

“Clearly, it is shown, as it is left uncontroverted, that respondent (Phua) solicited P500,000 from complainant in the course of the respondent’s official duty, or in connection of his being a municipal engineer,” read Ang’s resolution.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by Antonio Jimenez, Jr., manager of LAB General Engineering, Inc., which was awarded the contract for the construction of the Dumanjug Sports Complex amounting to P14.83 million in September 2013.

When Jimenez served the municipal government with the final billing for the project, Phua allegedly asked for P500,000 in exchange for submission of his final inspection report.

When he refused to give in to Phua’s demand, Jimenez said the municipal engineer issued a report containing “negative observations.”

The ombudsman directed Phua to submit his counter-affidavit, but he failed to comply with the directive. Thus, the anti-graft office resolved the complaint based on the evidence submitted by the complainant.

In the resolution, graft investigator Ang said Phua is liable for soliciting money from the contractor, pursuant to the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.

Phua was also found liable for simple neglect of duty.

The ombudsman will also file a criminal complaint for violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employee against Phua before the Regional Trial Court. Phua is also barred from working in government. 

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