Garcia suspends fuel allocation amid reported CCDRRMO anomaly

Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia
Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin GarciaPhoto courtesy of Amper Campaña

SOME personnel of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO) are seeking the City Government to investigate the alleged anomalies in their office, including the reported personal use of fuel and unauthorized salary deductions.

This prompted Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia to immediately suspend the fuel allocation of all Cebu City Hall offices on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. He also said that the Human Resource Office and the Cebu City Legal Department will spearhead the investigation after they take hold of the complainants’ statements.

Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr., in a press conference on Tuesday, said he received an affidavit from nine CCDRRMO personnel disclosing that one of their team officers, Joshua “Wawa” Delumbar, has been allegedly pumping fuel from government vehicles illegally.

The same employees also claimed that Delumbar has been taking a portion of their salaries.

Ronald Hermita, a former driver of Tanker 3, stated in the affidavit that he knew and witnessed Delumbar and Jeve Cadungog stealing diesel from Tanker 3 for personal gain.

Alan Opolentisima, a driver of the truck known as “Kabaw,” also stated in the affidavit that he refueled the truck on May 14, 2024, at around 2 p.m. with 100 liters of diesel. He then parked the truck at the Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC) for a crew change. When he returned to his shift, he noticed that the tank was almost empty. He referred to the trip ticket and discovered that the truck had not been used until May 17, 2024.

Fermin Tabanas, another driver, informed Opolentisima that he saw Delumbar and Al Januar Nino Yap stealing approximately 80 liters of diesel and filling four containers.

Tabanas also claimed that Delumbar instructed him to tell Opolentisima to refuel when the latter’s shift resumed.

John Justin Rosales, a former fire engine crew member, said in an interview after the press conference with Alcover that he believes Delumbar has frequently pumped fuel from the trucks’ tanks since his first appointment in March 2022.

“Ang style ana nila kay iistar pa na nilag pila ka days sa amoang quarters para timailhan nga nakit-an namo nga naa ra dira gapundo. Pero malimtan na gani murag malabyan na sa hangin, mawala na lang (Their style is that they will place it in our quarters for a few days so we will see it, but it will then disappear),” said Rosales.

In the joint affidavit of Hermita, Opolentisima, and other complainants, they claimed that Delumbar performed the anomaly under the name of CCDRRMO head Harold Alcontin.

“Whenever we confronted them about these activities, they claimed they were acting on orders from ‘Delta 01,’ the officer-in-charge, Mr. Harold Alcontin,” stated Hermita, Opolentisima, and other complainants in the joint affidavit.

Moreover, Lucinisio Cuevas, a current fire engine crew member, reported that Alcontin owns a Toyota Vios and admitted that he witnessed Alcontin’s live-in partner, together with a QRT personnel, allegedly stealing fuel from their office’s stockroom, known as “Amihan Base,” to refuel Alcontin’s sedan for their personal gain.

In a phone interview, Alcontin denied the allegations against him.

“Wala man koy personal nga sakyanan. Wala may na registered nga sakyanan nga akoa (I don’t even have a personal car. I have no registered car under my name),” said Alcontin.

Alcontin said that a thorough investigation would follow.

However, since the complaints were not directly given to his office, he needs to determine the identities of the complainants first.

Fuel allocation suspended

Garcia has ordered the suspension of fuel allocation for all government vehicles effective immediately, except emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, garbage trucks, and police cars.

“They will always have to write us a letter of explanation to defend kon ngano kinahanglang hatagan gyud sila og allocation (why they should be given allocation),” said Garcia.

Furthermore, Rosales also included in the sworn affidavit that sometime in May 2022, Delumbar allegedly demanded he give his two months’ salary. Rosales said he gave his one month’s salary.

It was stated in the affidavit that Delumbar justified this demand under the alleged order of Alcontin, saying that the money would be used to purchase a motor siren for the fire engine.

“Pagkuha gyud sa sweldo namo sa City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) nag atang na siya (When I got the salary from the City Treasure’s Office, he was already waiting),” said Rosales. “Iyang rason palit kuno. Mahal kuno to nga gamit which is ako kabalo ko nga pila ang kantidad ato (His reason is to buy it. It was said to be expensive, but I know how much it costs),” added Rosales.

Rosales believed that the motor siren cost less than P10,000, but Delumbar demanded his salary of P12,000.

He expressed in the affidavit that Delumbar discriminated against Rosales and threatened to remove him from the rolls, which forced him to request a transfer to the emergency medical services department when he refused to give in to Delumbar’s demands. This continued reported threat from Delumbar led to Rosales’ resignation.

“To be honest, dugay na gyud mi ganahan mo storya gani, pero wala mi kabalo kinsa among duolan, kinsa among masaligan bahin ani pero pagstorya sa usa ka kauban namo nga si Kap Ramil maoy mudala daw...so ni grab nalang mi sa opportunity nga istorya nalang tanan kay lisod man pud nga magpadayon silag niana (To be honest, we’ve been wanting to tell this for a long time, but we don’t know who we’re to go to, who we can trust about this, but talking to one of our friends, Kap Ramil will lead...so we just grabbed the opportunity to tell the story since it’s not good that they will continue doing this),” said Rosales in an interview after the press conference at the City Hall.

Another victim is a former fire engine crew member named Joven Lalimos. In his affidavit, he stated that Delumbar deducted a portion of his salary due to his failure to work, despite the latter’s complete Daily Time Record (DTR) signed by his superior.

Delumbar allegedly demanded P1,500 from Lalimos every month from October 2023 to January 2024.

Lalimos expressed that he complied with his demands because he feared losing his job.

So far, this is the third corruption case found in Cebu City following Mayor Michael Rama’s suspension.

The first case involved selling government-issued person-with-disability identification cards, which cost between P2,000 and P4,000, to people who did not even have disabilities.

The second case involved Acting Mayor Garcia’s revocation of biometric DTR exemptions after a report that Management Information and Computer Services head Dante Arcilla had been receiving salary without reporting to work.

SunStar Cebu tried to reach out to Joshua Delumbar but to no avail. / JPS

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