THE Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo after it found him administratively liable for grave misconduct over the release of P10 million which was allegedly “not supported by the necessary appropriation.”
Based on a statement issued on Thursday, the Ombudsman also found basis to charge Degamo with graft before the Sandiganbayan.
The Ombudsman directed the secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to implement the dismissal order, which “carries the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and bar from taking the civil service examination.”
According to the statement, the Ombudsman found that Degamo submitted to the provincial board in October 2012 the proposed budget for 2013, which included a P10-million intelligence fund.
The provincial board, in January 2013, enacted the appropriation ordinance but said the intelligence fund was deleted.
Degamo then tendered his veto on the deletion or non-inclusion of the same and on April 15, 2013, allegedly issued a memorandum ordering the release of the P10-million intelligence fund.
“Records show that the next day, a cash advance for the payment of expenses of different activities related to intelligence operation in the amount of P10million was released to Governor Degamo,” the Ombudsman said.
The Ombudsman alleged that “as appropriation ordinance no. 1, series of 2013, does not contain any item on confidential/intelligence fund, the release of the cash advance in the amount of P10million was not supported by the necessary appropriation.” MA. REINA LEANNE C. TOLENTINO