Ombudsman suspends top media board officials


The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered top officials of the Optical Media Board (OMB) suspended for six months for neglect of duty in connection with the post-raid operations conducted against Sky High Marketing Corporation.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved Joint Resolution on August 28, ordering the suspension of OMB Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ronald Ricketts, Executive Director Cyrus Paul Valenzuela, head of the Enforcement and Inspection Division (EID) Manuel Mangubat, Investigation Agent I Joseph Arnaldo, and Computer Operator II Glenn Perez.

Morales also ordered the filing of graft charges against the OMB officials.

In a statement, the anti-graft body said investigation revealed that on May 27, 2010, OMB agents raided the Sky High Marketing Corporation in Quiapo, Manila.

The agents seized 127 boxes and two sacks of pirated Digital Video Discs (DVDs) and Video Compact Disks (VCDs), one unit of Video Recording Human I.P.C, and arrested three Chinese nationals.

The confiscated items were brought to the agency’s office in the afternoon but were pulled out from the premises on the same night.

Ricketts instructed the pull-out of the items without any approved gate pass, using a truck owned by Sky High, the Ombudsman said.

As head of agency, Ricketts “should have directed the filing of case/s against the violators, but he did not,” the Ombudsman said. “The unjustified release of the confiscated items compromised the pieces of evidence that could substantiate a case/s against those RA 9239 violators, thereby giving unwarranted benefit to Sky High Marketing Corporation and its officers.”

The Ombudsman’s resolution said that Ricketts, who was present during the raid, “did not deny Perez’s claim that it was he who ordered the reloading.”


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