• Ombudsman suspends Cebu village officials

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    The Office of the Ombudsman in Visayas ordered the suspension of eight barangay (village) officials in Cebu City following complaint of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct.

    Ordered a six-month preventive suspension were Barangay chairman Felicisimo Rupinta, Councilmen Marky Rizaldy Miral, Antonieto Flores, Ryan Jay Rosas, Alio Tamundo, Domingo Ando, Maria Buanghug and Wilbert Flores, all of Barangay Ermita in Magallanes, Cebu City.

    A ruling by Paul Elmer Clemente, Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas, partly said: “Considering that the evidence of guilt is strong, and the charge involves Gross Neglect in the Performance of Duty and Grave Misconduct, or one that would warrant removal from the service, there are factual and legal bases to place herein respondents under preventive suspension for six (6) months..”

    The ruling stemmed from the complain filed by PDEA through Regional Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz against Rupinta and his councilmen after they refused to cooperate with operatives during a raid on drug dens in their area.

    Members of PDEA RO7 on November 6, 2016 served two search warrants to residences doubling as drug dens in Sitio Bato, Barangay Ermita that led to the arrest of its maintainers and several others who were caught in the act of sniffing shabu inside the drug dens.

    “First, the officials of Barangay Ermita were not at their station at the time of the lawful search in their area of responsibility and failed to render assistance to the operatives. Second, the respondents failed to detect or suppress the drug dens operating right under their noses to think they are within 500 meters away from the barangay hall,” PDEA Director General Isidro Lapeña said in ordering  the filing of cases.

    Jing Villamente

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