Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo and Undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba were charged with graft at the Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday for their alleged failure to implement the Clean Air Act.
The Coalition of Clean Air Advocates said the air quality declined “simply because of the herein respondents’ neglect.”
The group’s president, Herminio Buerano Jr., along with lawyer Leo Olarte, Fr. Roberto Reyes, Efren de Luna and Ramon Ventura filed the complaint.
“[T]his complaint is being filed certainly because, with the herein respondents at the helm of their respective offices, and without the mandated ‘national program’ for ‘motor vehicle inspection and maintenance’, it is the people, and the herein complainants included, who pay a heavy price, with their health, while the polluters get away with impunity and continue to pollute the air, day in, day out, scot-free, and with even the premium and bonus of so much profits to their heart’s contents and desires,” they said.
Under what they called as the non-appearance scheme, they alleged that all motor vehicles whether or not they emit foul air are given a Certificate of Emission Compliance (CED) in exchange for cash.
They asked the anti-graft office to immediately issue a preventive suspension order against Domingo and Dimagiba to allow an “unhindered investigation” so that “employees may not be cowered and influenced.”
They also sought the dismissal of the respondents and the filing of the appropriate charge against them after investigation.
“[R]espondents are fully aware, that by their failure to address, even if only by half-measure, hence, half-heartedly, a very pressing matter of national interest, that there was the duty upon them (the respondents), to have resigned voluntarily, if only to give others the chance to try where they have failed. By insisting that they stay in office, but opting to sleep on their responsibilities, they are depriving the Filipinos, most especially, the herein complainants, of the opportunity to have at the helm of their offices, someone who may be better-prepared, better hearted, and better dedicated, hence of the opportunity to live in a better atmosphere,” the complainants said.