THE Office of the Ombudsman ordered the suspension of Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante of Dalaguete town in Cebu and seven others after they were found liable for misconduct and neglect of duty in connection with a fishing boat that sank in 2014.
Found administratively liable along with Cesante were former municipal officials – municipal administrator Rydal Cisneros, chief of police Clito Pia, division head Almar Villahermosa, Agricultural Technician Juana Tangpos, Peter Bejarasco and then-municipal deputy fish wardens Felipe Calisang and Juan Millan.
Records show that the boat was in the respondents’ custody after it was seized for supposed violation of the Fisheries Code.
The Ombudsman alleged that “the record establishes respondents’ failure to preserve the vessel seized.
Despite repeated requests to transfer the vessel to a safer location amid the coming typhoon, the respondents gave complainants the run-around to avoid the responsibility of giving the clearance to move the vessel. Their failure to act on said requests constitutes negligence. In the present situation, respondents fell short of the reasonable diligence required of them, for failing to exercise due care and prudence in addressing the complainants’ reasonable request to transfer the vessel.”
The fishing boat, owned by Rusell and Jowelyn Heredia, sank on November 26, 2014 during the onslaught of Typhoon Queen, according to the statement.