MANAOAG, Pangasinan: Two key personnel of the community hospital here have been ordered dismissed from public service after they were found guilty of defrauding the government in hospital fees collected from patients.
Ordered dismissed in a decision dated June 22, 2016 were Jessie Fabia, administrative assistant II/cashier-designate of the hospital, and Richell Fernandez, pharmacy aide, of the same facility run and operated by the provincial government of Pangasinan.
The anti-graft body’s decision obtained by The Manila Times over the weekend also cancelled Fabia and Fernandez’s civil service eligibilities, including forfeiture of their retirement benefits and disqualification from re-employment in the government service.
Citing Section 27 (1) of Republic Act 6770, or the Ombudsman Act of 1989, Gerard Mosquera, Deputy Ombudman for Luzon, said the decision “is immediately executory.”
The complaint was filed on March 6, 2015 by Dr. Jeremy Agerico Rosario, the 4th district provincial board member, who was then connected with the hospital as assistant provincial health officer.
In the complaint, it was alleged Fabia charged P8,000 for the treatment and confinement (August 16-20, 2014) of Liza Lagmay, an indigent who availed of the provincial government’s Point-of-Care program that awards indigent patients free medical treatment and hospitalization in hospitals and clinics owned and operated by the provincial government.
The Point-of-Care program is one of its kind in the country introduced by then Gov. Amado Espino Jr. in 2014.
Fabia, however, reduced the amount to P4,000 after Lagmay pleaded for pity. He then asked Fernandez to issue the corresponding receipt.
But an investigation later revealed only P81 was reflected as collection in the duplicate and triplicate copies of the original official receipts issued to Lagmay. The duplicate and triplicate copies were also found to have been issued to another person.
On learning of the incident, six other patients who claimed to have been allegedly duped by Fabia and Fernandez showed up and presented documents tampered by the respondents.
For this, the Ombusman found probable cause against respondents for seven counts of “malversation through falsification of public documents.”
Earlier, on January 14, 2016, the Office of the Governor, in Administrative Case No. 01-2015, found Fabia and Fernandez liable for “dishonesty, grave misconduct and abuse of authority” and recommended the dismissal from the service of the respondents, including forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from re-employment in the government service.
During the pendency of the case, Rosario was shot while on his way home to Manaoag by assailants riding a motorcycle, The suspected triggerman, Mario Castillo of Barangay Bolos, San Jacinto, Pangasinan, was recently arrested by the police that filed the case for frustrated murder. Rosario survived the attack.
He later won in the recent elections as provincial board member representing the 4th district of Pangasinan, a seat he previously served for two consecutive terms.