Ombudsman orders mayor of Tuguegarao dismissed

>> Saturday, February 18, 2017

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan — The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of Mayor Jefferson Soriano of this city for allegedly allowing the illegal operation of a transport terminal in 2013.
In a resolution recently signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Soriano was found guilty of administrative offenses of grave misconduct and abuse of authority.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) was directed to “immediately” implement the dismissal order.
Aside from his dismissal, the ombudsman also ordered Soriano's perpetual disqualification from holding public office, forfeiture of his retirement benefits and the cancellation of his civil service eligibility.
Based on the ombudsman investigation, Soriano, in October 2013, issued a letter directing all bus, van and jeepney operators and drivers to vacate their terminals within the Poblacion, citing Ordinance 02-97 which gave the city government authority to designate parking areas.
Soriano then issued on Dec. 20, 2013 a provisional permit to operate in favor of One Way Parking Terminal, Inc. (OWPTI) allegedly without the necessary prior approval of the City Council.
The ombudsman said that it was only the same day that Soriano endorsed to the City Council OWPTI's application for operation.
                “[Soriano] committed a corrupt act when he gave unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to OWPTI through manifest partiality by issuing the provisional permit without prior ordinance and authorization from the Sanggunian (Council),” Morales said in the resolution.
The ombudsman further said that aside from having no permit to operate, the OWPTI also did not have a legislative franchise from the City Council.
“Soriano abused his authority and flagrantly disregarded established rule since he put the cart before the horse by issuing the permit without authorization by the Sanggunian,” the ombudsman said.

The ombudsman in 2015 charged Soriano of graft before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the alleged anomalous purchase of P131.5 million worth of rubber boats during his stint as the chairman of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Bids and Awards Committee in 2009. The case is pending at the Sandiganbayan Third Division.


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