Ombudsman charges Mindanao exec for allowing her husband to join a gov’t seminar

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DAVAO CITY (May 25) — The Office of the Ombudsman charged Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Director in Davao City, for allowing her husband to participate in a  health seminar  at Ritz Hotel  in 2015.

The Ombudsman found probable cause to indict Director Charlita Escaño,  of the Office of Finance and Administrative Services of the MinDA,  after the investigators found,  Escaño allowed her husband, Engineer Allan Escaño, a non-MinDA employee, to participate in the “Basic Occupational Safety and Health Course for Construction Officers” held at the Ritz Hotel in Davao City from 16 to 20 March 2015.

Records obtained from the MinDA revealed the office paid the amount of P30,000.00 representing the registration fee for five participants, but only four employees attended with Engr. Allan Escaño, a private individual, replacing Engr. Renato Buhat, Jr. who was unavailable to attend the seminar.

In her Counter-Affidavit, respondent claimed that she was informed that refund is not allowed for any cancelled attendance, and as replacement for Engr. Buhat, she invited her husband to attend the seminar and the organizers allowed it.

But the Ombudsman in a Resolution stated that “Respondent gave unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference to her husband, Engr. Escaño, by causing his inclusion in the training in lieu of Engr. Buhat for which MinDA already paid the registration fee.”

The government anti-graft and corrupt practices act states “It shall be unlawful to, among others, give any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of official administrative functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.”-Harold V. Pontongan/Newsline.ph

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