Ombudsman axes Bulacan mayor

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THE Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal from the service of Mayor Reynaldo San Pedro, of San Jose Del Monte City, in Bulacan province, for grave abuse of authority and grave misconduct in connection with the allegedly illegal re-assignment and re-designation of a city engineer in 2013.

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The Ombudsman also perpetually barred him from holding public office with forfeiture of retirement benefits and cancellation of civil service eligibility.

San Pedro issued an office order re-assigning then-City Engr. Rufino Gravador, Jr. as City Agriculturist in July 2013, according to a statement issued by the Ombudsman on Wednesday.

Granting an appeal on the matter, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) directed San Pedro to allow Gravador to report back to his former post as City Engineer.

But the Ombudsman said that despite the CSC ruling, San Pedro issued another office order designating Arnel Vitug as city building official and transferred 27 engineers and support staff under its supervision.

“[T]he questioned issuances were all geared toward respondent’s goal to torment and demoralize complainant” as “in the guise of complying with the CSC decision, he issued the illegal orders to be able to circumvent the directive reinstating complainant,” the Ombudsman held in its decision. REINA LEANNE TOLENTINO

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