Questionable Ombudsman decision

OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio-Morales might haven’t taken a closer look or it simply never reached her table before the decision was arrived at over the case of grave misconduct, abuse of authority and conduct unbecoming against at least nine officers and members of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG).

Administrative and Adjudication Bureau Director Dennis Garcia and Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro might then have a lot of explaining to do since they turned to be the signatories of the particular case against PASG director Jeffrey Patawaran, Supt. Segundino Adaliga and their men.

The case stemmed from an extortion complaint of the Racal Ceramics Bargain Center Inc. which claimed it conceded to the respondents’ alleged demand for P3-million after the PASG men said to be led by the two officials raided through a search warrant the firm’s warehouse sometime in January 14, 2009 over alleged smuggling of kitchen tiles and wares.

Apparently, the complainant managed to present sufficient proofs as indicated by the anti-graft body’s decision dated January 27, 2012 after it found Patawaran, Alidaga and PO2 Melvin Nuyles guilty of grave misconduct.

With that, they were subsequently recommended to be dismissed from the service with the “accessory penalty of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and disqualification from being reemployed in the government service.”

Of course, it didn’t stop there. The respondents filed a motion for reconsideration claiming there was no extortion that transpired when the operation conducted contrary to the allegations of the complainant who claimed to have been forced to cough up and withdraw the huge amount as allegedly demanded by the raiding PASG men.

To the shock and dismay of the complainant, the anti-graft office, through the recommendation and approval of Garcia and Casimiro, respectively, came out with a modified decision dated July 23, 2012 which only found the trio guilty of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Hence, they were meted out the penalty of nine month-suspension from government service without pay.

The modified decision says: “It could not be denied respondent-movants’ leniency paved the way to the accusation of extortion. Thus they tarnished the image and integrity of the PASG.”

The complainant felt they were further cheated with the Ombudsman’s modified decision, questionably lost the case and even failed to recover the alleged extortion money said to have been demanded by the PASG men.

Having known the lady Ombudsman since she assumed the post in July last year, she’s smart and sensitive on matters that must have been carefully studied and reviewed before the same are made public like this one.

So let’s us see, the Ombudsman for sure will find extra time to take a closer and more impartial look to this one.

NPC at 60

Come Oct. 29 is big day for all National Press Club members including our so-called lifetime colleagues. We are turning 60 and it’s time once again to mingle and celebrate with one another.

Mabuhay ang NPC, mabuhay ang Filipinong Mamamahayag!

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