THE Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal from service three mayors and 27 other local officials across Mindanao for various offenses.
Ordered dismissed were Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City Mayor Oscar Moreno; Mayor Vicente Fernandez of Matanao, Davao del Sur, and; Mayor Mamintal Adiong of Ditsa-an Ramain, Lanao del Sur. They were also perpetually barred them from holding public office.
In a statement on Thursday, it said that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales approved a decision on October 6 finding Moreno liable for grave misconduct “for entering into a settlement agreement with Ajinomoto Philippines without prior authorization from the Sangguniang Panlungsod [City Council] in violation of R.A. [Republic Act] No. 7160 (The Local Government Code).”
The agreement allowed Ajinomoto to pay P300,000 instead of its original local business tax deficiency of P2.9 million but the office held that “the approval of the agreement by the court cannot, in any way, legitimize the acts of Moreno.”
Glenn Bañez, officer-in-charge of the Treasurer’s Office was ordered dismissed along with Moreno.
Moreno, in an interview with mediamen, said the decision of the Ombudsman is “harsh, cruel and excessive”. He added he is yet to get a copy of his dismissal order and will contest the same calling it a “miscarriage of justice”.
Fernandez was indicted for usurpation of official functions after found discharging his function as mayor while in detention having criminal charged for the murder of a journalist, the office said.
Also, the office found Adiong guilty of grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and oppression for ordering the burning of a truck owned by JERA General Construction hired by Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LASURECO) to install concrete electric posts and distribution lines in the municipality.
The office also mentioned that three other mayors, four vice-mayors and 30 other local officials in Mindanao “were also criminally indicted” last month for various charges ranging from violation graft, malversation, failure to liquidate cash advances and irregularities in the procurement process, among others.
The Ombudsman also found probable cause to indict former CDO Mayor Vicente Emano for refusal to implement a Civil Service Commission (CSC) order; Tandag City Mayor Alexander Pimentel for graft; and Mayor Diosdado Pallasigue of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat for allegedly failure to reinstate a municipal planning and development coordinator in spite the CSC order.