• Ombudsman sacks Customs officer, 2 town treasurers


    Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd has ordered the enforcement of separate rulings by the Office of the Ombudsman dismissing from the service a Bureau of Customs (BOC) officer and two municipal treasurers in Zamboanga del Sur and Occidental Mindoro.

    Dominguez directed BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to dismiss from the service Customs Operations Officer I Khalid Minoao Calandada.

    He also instructed Nino Raymond Alvina, executive director of the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), to serve the dismissal from the office of municipal treasurers Ananie Raluto of Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur and Eddie Rodriguez of Santa Cruz, Occidental Mindoro.

    Calandada was found guilty by the Ombudsman of serious dishonesty for his repeated failure to declare certain pieces of property and misleading declarations in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) from 2008 to 2014.

    The Ombudsman said Calandada’s “deliberate assertions of falsehood made under oath” led it to uncover that he was able to acquire a Mitsubishi Montero Sport, a 45 caliber 45 pistol, a shotgun and incurred bank and personal loans of over P6 million –all of which he had failed to declare in his annual SALN.

    Calandada was also ordered perpetually disqualified from holding public office and his retirement benefits were forfeited.

    Meanwhile, Rodriguez, former assistant municipal treasurer of Santa Cruz, was found guilty of grave misconduct in connection with procurement of P1.9 million worth of petroleum products from private firm R4 Fuel, which is owned by his mother, Lydia Rodriguez.

    The Ombudsman said the awarding of contract for R4 Fuel to supply Santa Cruz municipal government with fuel and other oil products did not undergo required public bidding.

    Similarly, Raluto, then municipal treasurer and chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee of Dumalinao town, was found liable for dishonesty and grave misconduct in connection with purchase of 3,332 bottles of liquid foliar fertilizer, which were overpriced and bought without the benefit of public bidding.

    Another municipal treasurer, Carlos Bengil of South Cotabato, was ordered suspended from office for one month for simple neglect of duty after the Ombudsman found him to have committed “an error in judgment” in subscribing to the purchase of P1.8 million worth of fertilizer for the municipality of Norala, South Cotabato.

    Dominguez said the implementation of the court’s ordered is in line with the Department of Finance’s (DOF) drive to remove or penalize erring officials in the department and its attached agencies.

    With just four-and-a-half months into the Duterte administration, he has so far taken punitive action against 14 employees under the DOF’s supervision for various offenses, ranging from simple neglect of duty to grave misconduct, based on results of separate investigations by the Ombudsman.

    Earlier, Dominguez ordered the implementation of penalties ranging from dismissal from the service to suspension without pay against eight municipal treasurers and two other Customs employees.


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