Ombudsman sacks Negros Oriental gov

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The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo for grave misconduct over the allegedly unauthorized release of P10 million in intelligence fund and charged him with graft before the Sandiganbayan.

It directed the secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to serve the dismissal order with “accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and bar from taking the civil service examination.”

The Ombudsman’s office found that Degamo submitted to the provincial board in October 2012 the proposed 2013 budget that included the P10-million intelligence fund.

But in January 2013, the board enacted the appropriation ordinance but deleted the intelligence fund.


Degamo then tendered his veto on non-inclusion of the fund and allegedly issued a memorandum on April 15, 2013 ordering its release.

The Ombudsman pointed out that Degamo’s supposed “act of insisting [on the]release of the cash advance despite the apparent absence of the necessary appropriation is thus a clear badge of willful intent to violate the laws and established rules.”

In September, the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division granted the prosecution’s plea for Degamo’s 90-day preventive suspension pending litigation of the graft case and malversation through falsification cases filed in 2016 over the disbursement of calamity funds for the province’s infrastructure projects in 2012.

The order was served to Degamo by DILG–Negros Oriental Director Rene Burdeos on October 18.

In November, the court denied Degamo’s plea to reconsider the suspension order.

Charged along with Degamo were Danilo Mendez, former provincial treasurer, and Teodorico Reyes, then provincial accountant.

REINA C. TOLENTINO

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