The Office of the Ombudsman found two former commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), one reportedly the chief security officer of a presidential bet and another an airline senior executive, guilty of grave misconduct for implementing suspension order against an immigration officer. The order signed by Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer II Blesilda T. Ouano dated January 26, 2016 but released on April 4, ordered the dismissal from the service with all the necessary penalties of respondents, then Commissioner Ricardo David Jr., Associate Commissioner Siegfred Mison, and BI head executive assistant Grace Lara. David, Mison and Lara were charged by Paulino Verzosa, an Immigration Alien Control Officer at BI Laoag Field Office, for Grave Abuse of Authority, Grave Misconduct, Conduct Unbecoming of a Public Officer and Oppression. The case stemmed from Verzosa’s suspension on November 13, 2007 for simple misconduct by former BI officials. Verzosa brought the case before the Regional Trial Court of Manila on September 2010 that issued “a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction directing the BI officials to desist from implementing the penalty of suspension upon complainant.” On June 2013, the CSC granted Verzosa’s motion ordering his reinstatement during the pendency of his motion for reconsideration. However, upon receipt of CSC resolution, David issued two personnel orders recalling the BI Order implementing the CSC decision directing Verzosa to report to his mother unit, the Immigration Regulation Division, relieving him as Acting Alien Control Officer in Laoag Field Office. The Ombudsman said Verzosa’s suspension is a clear transgression of the Department of Justice (DOJ) department order no. 144 that requires prior approval from the Secretary of Justice when effecting personnel actions in the bureau, which includes suspension of BI employees. David reportedly is currently the head security of presidential bet and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, while Mison is Philippine Airlines Senior Vice President for Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Communications.
BENJIE L. VERGARA