TARLAC: The Office of the Ombudsman has found former Mayor Tito Razalan of Mayantoc town, this province, and four others liable for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty over the alleged anomalous P23 million bank loan for a memorial park.
Also facing charges are former municipal engineer and chairman of Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Rodolfo Corpuz, municipal treasurer Nilda Salazar, budget officer Florence Bueno, and administrative officer Marilene Bedania.
Razalan, Corpuz and Salazar were sued by a certain Avelino Pobre while Bueno and Bedania were indicted by Field Investigation Unit (FIU) represented by Peter Kate Maningas.
In its decision dated November 11, 2015 and signed by Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Gerard Mosquera on November 3, 2016 for approval of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, it said substantial evidence was found against the respondents.
The Ombudsman signed the decision on March 13, 2017 which copy was obtained by The Manila Times on Monday.
The respondents were meted dismissal from the service with accessory penalties.
In the event the penalty of dismissal from the service can no longer be enforced for reason of separation from service, it may be converted into a fine in amount equivalent to the respondent’s one year salary deductible from retirement benefits, accrued leave credits, or any receivables.
The case stemmed from Pobre’s complaint that Razalan initiated the implementation of the P25-million loan from the Land bank of the Philippines for the Mayantoc Memorial Park in 2009 without undergoing normal procurement and bidding process.
The Commission on Audit also found that the memorial park project was paid in full despite incomplete and non-operational status.
In their counter-affidavits, Razalan, Corpuz and Salazar denied the allegations.
But the Ombudsman has found liability on the part of the three accused, noting that Razalan and Corpuz facilitated the release of the payment for the project amounting to P23,048,230.15 to the contractor and issued certificates despite its unfinished and non-operational status.
For Salazar, the prosecutors said she failed to safeguard the coffers of the municipality when she released the payments to JQG ahead of the Accountant’s Advice of Local Check Disbursements.
Meanwhile, Bueno and Bedania were involved in the non-posting of the Invitation to Apply for Eligibility and to Bid for the construction of the project supposedly published in a provincial newspaper.
Bueno and Bedania also denied the allegations, noting that proper procedures were made to realize the project.
But the Ombudsman findings found Corpuz and Salazar to be held liable for gross neglect of duty.