• DA regional officials get axe

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    The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal from government service of two officials of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit 3 (DA-RFU 3) for allegedly misappropriating public funds and falsifying official documents in connection with the liquidation of the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani High Value Commercial Crops Program (GMA-HVCC).

    Also ordered dismissed was an instructor from the Bulacan Agricultural State College (BASC).

    In a 24-page Decision, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales found DA-RFU 3 Project Coordinator Ponciano Vinuya and BASC Instructor Julita Ponce guilty of Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty, while DA-RFU 3 Cashier Elena Miranda was found guilty of Serious Dishonesty.

    Vinuya, Ponce and Miranda were also slapped with forfeiture of retirement benefits, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancellation of civil service eligibility, and barred from taking the civil service examination.

    “[M]isappropriating public funds clearly constitutes Misconduct. In respondent Vinuya’s case, the misconduct was grave because he willfully stole public funds [and]committed dishonesty when he falsified official receipts and financial reports in an attempt to conceal the misappropriation,” Morales wrote in her decision.

    According to the decision, the Philippine Coconut Authority transferred P4.9 million of GMA-HVCC funds to the DA-RFU 3 for its project implementation in November 2001.

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