VACC files complaint vs QC mayor, councilor

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THE Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) filed a complaint against Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista at the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly tolerating his brother’s alleged use of illegal drugs.

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The mayor’s brother is Hero Bautista, a councilor of the city.

Hero was also included in the complaint.

In their complaint, VACC Founding Chairman and President Dante Jimenez and Vice Chairman Manuel Obedoza said the mayor should be held administratively liable for alleged violation of Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code because he “reneged on his obligation and duty to ensure compliance with” anti-illegal drug ordinances in the city as well as with Section 455 of the Local Government Code.

“This is his clear mandate which, by tolerance allowed a city councilor, his own brother at that, to abnegate his sworn duty,” they said in an 18-page joint complaint-affidavit.

Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code punishes public officials who, in dereliction of duty, shall maliciously refrain from prosecuting supposed violators of the law or tolerate the commission of offenses.

The complainants added that Mayor Bautista should also be administratively charged for dishonesty, neglect of duty, and misconduct for dereliction of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service under Executive Order 292.

“Being the local chief executive of Quezon City, respondent Mayor is responsible for ensuring that laws are faithfully complied with. He, disappointingly, neglected to efficiently and effectively discharge his functions as such when he deliberately tolerated his brother Councilor Hero to engage in the use and abuse of illegal drugs,” they said.

They said it was “beyond reason to think” that the mayor was unaware of his brother’s drug use.

“Respondent Mayor has no discretion in his responsibility of seeing to it that there is faithful compliance to the policy of implementing a drug-free workplace. Brother or not, it is his bounden duty and responsibility to ensure that the workplace in Quezon City Hall is free from persons addicted to drugs. Knowing his brother Councilor Hero being a drug addict, he should have done something about this earlier,” they said.

“He should not have allowed Hero to run for public office in the first place. It was his responsibility not only as a member of the Bautista family, but more so, as a public servant entrusted with confidence and to spare his constituents in Quezon City from all the possible ill-effects of drug addiction.”

Councilor Bautista, the complainants said, is liable for grave misconduct and violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

“No less than Councilor Hero himself admitted his drug addiction. The same reason he volunteered himself to undergo drug rehabilitation. What is galling is that he even had the temerity to ask for a leave of absence when he should have tendered his irrevocable resignation,” they said.

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