Antipolo mayor faces admin, criminal raps

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Mayor Casimiro “Jun” Ynares 3rd of Antipolo City is facing criminal and administrative charges before the Ombudsman for allegedly firing government staff and misusing almost P40 million in city funds.

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In their complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, Juana Tolibas, Fe Capellan, Josefina Apostol, Mae Caprado, Tony Galandra and Vice Mayor Ronaldo Leyva claimed that Ynares violated Section 3 of Republic Act (RA) 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and RA 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.

Leyva said ordinance 2013-517 abolishing all appointive co-terminous positions in his office and the Sangguniang Panglungsod was implemented right after a resolution allowing the adoption of a new structure and staffing pattern in government was passed.

Ynares supposedly abolished the staff positions in the Office of the City Vice Mayor because of the supposed need to save funds. However, Leyva said that the alleged appointments of the mayor’s political allies as staff disproved this.

“The abolition should have extended to the appointive positions under the Office of the City Mayor, if not the other Department of the City Government of Antipolo which has several redundant positions,” Leyva explained.

The vice mayor claimed that the dismissal of his staff was an act of political vendetta by people who opposed his entry to the political scene in Antipolo City.

He claimed that the ordinance was “designed by him [Ynares] and the Sangguniang Panglungsod to render the Office of the City Vice Mayor inutile.”

Leyva also claimed that the ordinance reportedly gave Ynares unwarranted benefits amounting to millions of pesos.

He said that the resolution, which was passed with “undue haste,” did not follow the three-reading rule as provided in the Local Government Code and violated the right of the affected employees to due process.

Several individuals also filed complaints against the incumbent mayor for alleged ethical violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 and conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service.

They accused Ynares of awarding P39,138,389.23 from the 2013 General Fund of the city budget to DC Sandil Construction and Realty Development, Inc. for the renovation of the Antipolo City Hall despite the absence of an allocation for such as approved by the city council.

Since July to December 2013, “No major repairs, renovation of the Antipolo City Hall was undertaken,” one of the complaints stated.

Moreover, they said that before the resolution’s passage there was no proposal or plan from the city council to improve the city hall building.

Ynares, through a July city resolution for the repair and renovation of the City Hall, moved several government offices to the Ynares Sports Complex and the national agencies housed therein to the Lores Country Club.

However, the complaints said that this was unnecessary as the “City hall is intact, complete with facilities to conduct and serve effectively the citizens . . . as previously done in the past administrations.”

They said that the City Hall was more accessible to the public—a requirement of the law—and that the two new locations are far.

Under the law, transfer or conversion of government operations shall be approved by two-thirds majority vote of all council members, but complainants said that there was no public hearing prior to the approval and implementation of the resolution.

The complainants alleged that since July 1, Ynares has been spending government money allegedly amounting millions without any authority by paying for all the expenses for the operation of the Antipolo City Government and its offices in the Provincial Government of Rizal.

Ynares, formerly the Provincial Governor of Rizal before he was mayor, is the son of the incumbent Governor Nini and former Gov. Casimiro Ynares Jr.

The charges, filed before the Ombudsman on April 3, also include violations of the Local Government Code and a circular of the Commission on Audit on the city government’s irregular and unnecessary use of funds.

“There are no valid and substantial reasons to repair and renovate the Antipolo City Hall,” it read.

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