THE Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld an order of the Office of the Ombudsman sacking a Philippine consul-general for falsifying information in her Personal Data Sheet (PDS).
In a May 8, 2015 decision penned by Associate Justice Sesinando Villon and concurred in by Associate Justices Rodil Zalameda and Carmelita Salandanan Manahan, the CA’s Special 13th Division affirmed the March 11, 2013 decision and April 29, 2013 order of the anti-graft office against Ma. Lourdes Ramiro-Lopez.
Ramiro-Lopez was the Philippines’ consul-general in Osaka, Japan, when the Ombudsman handed down its verdict.
Records revealed that Ramiro-Lopez entered the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on September 1, 1971 as Foreign Service Staff Employee IV and rose through the ranks until she was promoted on October 11, 1999 to the rank of Chief of Mission, Class I (ambassador), then became consul-general .
The Field Investigation Office-Office of the Ombudsman (FIO-OMB) found that Ramiro-Lopez made false entries in her 2005 PDS, saying she obtained a degree in Broadcast Communication.
But her Transcript of Records (TOR) from the University Registrar, University of the Philippines showed that she was unable to finish her degree and she only completed 81 units as against the required 140 units.
The Ombudsman found Ramiro-Lopez administratively liable for dishonesty, falsification of official documents, misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the interest of the service, and imposed upon her penalty of dismissal from the service, as well as the accessory penalties, including cancellation of her civil service eligibility, forfeiture of her retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.