Monday, September 27, 2021

Ombudsman files charges vs Mindanao local execs

SIX mayors, eight municipal councilors and a prosecutor were among the high-ranking officials from various government offices in Mindanao who have been criminally charged before the Sandiganbayan.

This was barred by deputy Ombudsman Rodolfo Elman in the press conference at Task Force Davao (TFD) headquarters on Wednesday, July 20.

He also reported the increase of criminal charges filed against high-ranking officials from various government offices in Mindanao.

The Office of the Ombudsman has filed graft charges against Marc Cagas, son of the Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas. The governor was also charged with violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, malversation, and direct bribery.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales also ordered the filing of graft charges against Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, with City Budget Officer Percy Salazar and City Accountant Beda Joy Elot.

Elman said Moreno, Salazar and Elot were also found guilty of simple misconduct and were ordered suspended from their office for three months without pay.

The Ombudsman office also filed graft charges against Ozamis City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. and several officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways relative to the procurement for the renovation of a gym.

Also charged for anti-graft, Elman said, were former Libertad Mayor Alberto Acain in Misamis Oriental, former Jose Abad Santos Mayor Alex Wangkay in Davao Occidental, and former Norala Mayor Romeo Januto in South Cotabato.

Elman said the incumbent Jose Abad Santos town Mayor James Joyce in Davao del Sur is also facing charges for grave threats and slight physical injuries.

“The Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council) members of Matanao in Davao del Sur were also charged for passing several resolutions designating then detained Mayor Vicente Fernandez as the only official signatory for the municipality’s transactions with several banks,” Elman said.

Zamboanga City deputy prosecutor Roselyn Murillo-Mamon with private practitioner lawyer Pherham Saiddi was also facing charges for Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Elman said.

He added that nine employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Davao were also charged with falsification of public documents.

Elman said the nine social welfare personnel were charged with the falsification of public documents in relation to the construction of bunkhouses for the families hit by typhoon Pablo in 2012 in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

“They claimed that these laborers received so much salary but in fact they did not. We dismissed from the service the former assistant regional director for administration Mila Segovia and two other DSWD-Davao personnel,” he said.

Sultan Kudarat Vice-Mayor Monib Waling was also dismissed from service for Nepotism.

He was dismissed along with two officers of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Maguindanao due to serious dishonesty and misconduct.

Elman said the Ombudsman office has also ordered preventive suspension of the Wao town Mayor Elvino Balicao Jr. in Lanao del Sur for six months without pay, after being involved in “Wao Massacre.”

“We have also charged the Davao del Norte provincial treasurer Regina Ricafort and their provincial Budget officer for Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and suspended them for one year,” Elman said.

In Davao City, Elman said, the Ombudsman also charged Barangay Ponciano chieftain Jovito Salazar and its treasurer Elsie Ballica in Agdao District for malversation in the amount of P1.124 million.

“These are the updates for six months. As of June 30 this year, the Office of the Ombudsman had already recorded a total of 1, 302 cases. For six months, we have resolved 474 cases. Meanwhile, we 2,736 pending case load,” Elman said.

Elman said under the Ombudsman Rules, the decision of the Ombudsman is already executory despite the filing of an appeal from the persons involved. (ICT/With Mielin April Salvacion/MSU Intern/And Karrah Cathrina Flores/UIC Intern)
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