Ombudsman suspends Kalinga mayor, 2 others

>> Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Misconduct results to 1-year suspension 

RIZAL, Kalinga – The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the suspension for one year without pay of the mayor of this town and two local executives for appropriating around P14 million for a project to put gravel over farm to market roads in barangays here before the 2016 elections which was inadequately implemented.
In her decision ordering suspension of Rizal Mayor Marcelo V. De La Cruz, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said De La Cruz was guilty of “simple misconduct and conduct prejudicial in the interest of service.”  
Also ordered suspended for the same duration without pay were municipal accountant Rodelia B. Busacay and municipal budget officer Delia D. Jacob for signing and approving documents related to the project.
The suspension order was signed April 17,2017 by Morales but was received only by the municipal government last week, said councilor Robert R. Echalar, who earlier filed the case against De La Cruz along with his co-councilors Rogelio D. Lawad, Frank P. Wad-asen, Collin T. Dalanao, and Ponz Anthony L. Orodio.       
The Ombudsman ordered the Dept. of Interior and Local Government to implement the suspension immediately.
It was not known if De La Cruz has asked for a temporary restraining order.
Echalar said the Commission on Audit earlier declared the project as irregular and illegal since the municipal council in 2015 only made a resolution approving the project signed and approved by De La Cruz.
The project contractors, one of whom was a certain Jeffery Celestino and one who was not named reportedly were paid for the gravelling project even if this was irregular and not fully implemented since some barangays were “not even sprinkled with a single grain of sand.”      
The COA ruled such projects must be implemented with an appropriation ordinance, not a mere resolution of the municipal council.
Gerard A. Mosquera, Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon earlier recommended action against the which was approved by Morales. 


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