The Office of the Ombudsman clarified that the suspension order on Gerardo Esquivel, administrator of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), did not come from them.
In a statement, Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang said that he did not issue any order to sack Esquivel from his position for six months.
“The order is clearly spurious. I did not sign such order, and records reveal that no such document has been issued by any Ombudsman office,” Carandang said.
Earlier news reports said that the Ombudsman ordered the suspension of Esquivel after a legal tussle between him and Napoleon Quinones, vice president of the MWSS labor association, erupted for the hiring of 42 consultants who allegedly received monthly salary ranging from P15,000 to P50,000, on top of a P5,000 allowance.
The anti-graft agency also disclosed that a confirmed report of a “fake” order to file counter-affidavit sent to Esquivel was earlier discovered.
For her part, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said that media reports are doing more harm than good.
“It undermines and preempts the resolution of the case, by conditioning the mind of the public of a favored outcome of the case,” she stated.
In April, she already advised the public through an advisory to be discriminating on news reports on case updates, which are only open to parties of the cases unless the agency itself disclosed it to the media.
The Ombudsman warned the public “to be cautious of any purported directive, request or issuance emanating from dubious sources,” the advisory read.
“In case of doubt, the public is advised to verify the authenticity of the purported message or issuance by calling the Ombudsman hot-line,” the public advisory added.
The anti-graft agency is presently investigating incidents of falsifying Ombudsman issuances and processes.