Ombudsman suspends local exec, LBP officials, exonerates ex-QC officials
OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio Morales suspended for six months the Mayor of Victorias City, Negros Occidental and another official in said city for the irregular issuance of a Business Permit for the operation of a jai-alai betting station in the area.
On the other hand, Morales dismissed for insufficiency of evidence the criminal and administrative cases filed against Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte and two other city officials.
In a 22-page decision signed on 21 November 2012, Morales found Mayor Severo Palanca and Ramsy Panes, Executive Assistant II, Office of the City Mayor and OIC-Permits and Licenses Division, guilty of Simple Dishonesty and were meted the penalty of suspension without pay for six months and one day.
One James Francis Anthony Garcia earlier complained that the respondents “conspired, confederated, took advantage of their public positions and helped one another in falsifying a public document denominated as Business Permit, dated 23 June 2010.” He claimed the said officials issued the said permit to Gaudencio Corona as owner/ operator of Dalisay Amusement Games and Recreation Station, which Garcia alleged does not exist.
The decision stated that the evidence substantially shows that respondents Palanca and Panes issued a Business Permit to one not clearly entitled thereto. It said “[t]hat a Permit was issued showing that Corona was owner/operator and that he may engage in Jai-Alai Betting Station clearly shows that respondents concealed and distorted the truth which shows a disposition to deceive with an intent to violate the truth.”
Morales also affirmed the decision to suspend for six months without pay Ramon Saldonido, former OIC- Branch Manager of the Land Bank of the Philippines Lipa City Branch and Francisco Amponin, LBP Branch Manager; to suspend for one year without pay George Molano, Property and Supply Officer and Ma. Raissa de Castro, Accounting Clerk, and to dismiss from the service Dennis Rosal, a contractual employee, for misuse of government funds amounting to P190,580.45 from 01 January 2004 to 31 August 2004.
The Commission on Audit (COA) earlier recommended that the said respondents be administratively charged after it discovered that the Official Receipts (Ors) attached to the Disbursement Orders (Dos) of the bank for the purchase of stationary, office supplies and other hardware products were altered because items not actually purchased were added to increase the reimbursable amount.
The respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the said Decision. However, in a seven-page Order signed on 22 November 2012, the Ombudsman denied the same for lack of merit. “ xxx the instant motions must fail for the respondent-movants have utterly failed to raise a compellingly persuasive argument in their Motions for Reconsideration which would justify a reconsideration of the challenged Decision”, the order stated.