Court upholds axing of DA official over fertilizer scam


THE Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the Office of the Ombudsman’s decision dismissing from the service a Department of Agriculture (DA) official after he was found guilty of administrative charges in connection with the allegedly anomalous purchase of liquid fertilizers in 2004.

In an 18-page decision, the CA’s Sixth Division denied for lack of merit a petition for review of Rodolfo Guieb, former DA-Regional Unit IV officer-in-charge.

“The November 12, 2014 decision and November 6, 2015 joint order of the [Ombudsman] are hereby affirmed,” it said.

Guieb allegedly conspired with non-government organization (NGO) Masaganang Ani Para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc. (MAMFI) in the anomaly.

In the ruling approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Guieb allegedly conspired with MAMFI and several others to give “unwarranted benefits, privilege and advantage” to the NGO “by causing and/or approving the procurement from MAMFI of 3,240 bottles of liquid fertilizer without public bidding.”

MAMFI has also been linked to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) anomaly and is among the NGOs allegedly run by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam.

A disbursement voucher was allegedly approved, making it appear that MAMFI was qualified to implement the DA’s Farm Inputs and Farm Implements Program (FIFIP) and that it submitted all the needed documents for its accreditation as project implementor.

The Ombudsman’s office found Guieb guilty of dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

It imposed on him the penalty of dismissal from the service with accessory penalties.

According to the anti-graft office, Guieb allegedly facilitated the release of P3.25 million in public funds to the prejudice of the government.

This accusation prompted Guieb to seek redress with the CA.

The decision penned by Associate Justice Pedro Corales and concurred in by Associate Justices Japar Dimaampao and Amy Lazaro-Javier dismissed Guieb’s arguments that he had no hand in the anomalous procurement.

“Notably, nothing in the records indicate that Guieb issued any written notification to [former Regional Executive Director Dennis Araullo]and [former Governor Joel Reyes], or any other superior officer to whom he imputes ultimate responsibility for his act,” the CA said.

“All told, the records cast doubt on Guieb’s protestations of good faith and regular performance of official functions,” it added.


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