EIGHT of the 20 officials and employees of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) allegedly involved in the P134-million vehicle repair scam have been dismissed from the service.
Director Camilo G. Foronda, chief of the DPWH legal service, said on Tuesday the decision was arrived at after a special internal legal committee tasked to investigate the anomaly denied the motion for consideration filed by the accused.
“They are now officially dismissed from the service. But they still have the right to bring the matter to the proper courts,” Foronda, in a telephone interview, told The Manila Times.
Those ordered dismissed were Maximo Borje, Erdito Cuarto, Agerico Palaypay, Napoleon Anas, Maria Luisa Cruz, Luis Tablan, Raul Borillo and Luis Gayya.
The decision affirmed the January 2003 resolution of the hearing committee imposing the penalty of dismissal from government service.
Earlier, DPWH Acting Secretary Florante Soriquez ordered the immediate disposition of charges against the officials and employees, giving his assurance that there would be “no sacred cow” in the case.
All 20 DPWH officials and employees, along with 10 private individuals, were also charged before the Sandiganbayan with plunder, a nonbailable offense that carries the maximum penalty of death or life imprisonment.
All of them were also on the hold-departure order list of the Bureau of Immigration.
Of the 20, three have been confirmed to have left the country. They were Director Burt Favorito, Agerico Palaypay and Jessica Catibayan.
Based on immigration records, the three left the country on separate dates last year.
Favorito left the country on January 13 for Hong Kong; Palaypay and Catibayan departed on March 29 and August 23, respectively.
Those on the hold-departure order list are Maximo Borje Jr., Florendo Arias, Erdito Quarto, Napoleon Anas, Danilo Planta, Luisito de la Rosa, Rogelio Beray, Norma Villarmino, Ricardo Juan Jr., Nelson Umali, Maria Luisa Cruz, Melissa Espina, Violeta Tadeo, Violeta Amar, Ronaldo Simbahan, Felipe San Jose and Rolando Castillo.
Also prohibited from leaving the country are private suppliers Conchita dela Cruz, Janette Bagayong, Jesus Capuz, Rodellia Uy, Romeo Fullido, Victoria Go, Carmelito Edem, Augusto Capuz and Vicente Santos Jr.
By William B. Depasupil