Ex-DavOr Board Member, 5 ‘ghost employees’ face jail term

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DAVAO CITY (December 6)— — The Sandiganbayan sentenced former provincial board member  Ma. Consuelo Palma Gil-Roflo  to a maximum jail term of 58 years for allowing hiring of “ghost employees” in the provincial government from July 2001 to March 2003.

Palma Gil-Roflo , is  daughter of Gov. Ma. Elena Palma Gil.

Aside Palma Gil- Roflo, the anti-graft court’s Special Third Division also sentenced five former job order employees Jerico Ebita, Norman Doral, Derrick Andrade, Sergio Andrade and Chona Andrade Tolentino to 18 years imprisonment for graft and estafa through falsification of public documents.

“The Court is convinced that accused Roflo acted with evident bad faith when she repeatedly signed the DTRs (daily time records), accomplishment reports, and contracts of service of the accused job order employees despite their non-rendition of work,” the Sandiganbayan said in its ruling.

“As a result thereof, the Province of Davao Oriental suffered damage in the total amount of PHP349,250 representing the salaries paid to the accused job order employees,” it added.

The cases stemmed from a complaint filed by radio broadcaster Raul Antopuesto, station manager of DXGO in Davao City, and Rosie Bajenting, a former staff of the defendant.

Antopuesto and Baenting questioned the hiring of contractual employees Chona Tolentino, Jerico Abita, Norman Jacinto Doral and Derrick and Sergio Andrade. The last two were relatives of the accused.

In her affidavit, Baenting claimed that on orders of the board member, she prepared the hiring papers of the five contractual staff, filled out and
submitted their daily time records and collected their monthly salaries through a Special Power of Attorney handed to her by Palma Gil.

In all their months of supposed employment, she said, none of the five ever showed up in their office at the provincial capitol.

Baenting added that she even deposited several checks of the contractual employees to Palma Gil’s personal bank account in PNB-Mati, Davao Oriental under account no. 64152882921.

Palma Gil, in her counter-affidavit, claimed the five cannot be considered  ghost employees because the real persons exist and performed their

She explained that they were assigned in Davao City to do liaison and utility work including following up on transactions and documents needed by her office.

Graft investigators, however, noted that the accused did not have any evidence to back her claim about the regularity of employment of her five contractual staff.

In the case of Derrick and Sergio Andrade, investigators learned that both were enrolled at the University of Mindanao at the time of their supposed employment.

Derrick had daily classes from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. while Sergio had subjects from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

The daily time records of the two showed they reported for work daily from 7:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Antopuesto and Baenting included Gov. Palma Gil in their complaint but the Ombudsman dismissed the charges against her for alleged lack of evidence.

Roflo and her co-accused were ordered to reimburse the provincial government of Davao Oriental the appropriate amounts, representing the salaries paid, plus interest at the rate of 6 percent per annum, reckoned from the finality of the decision until the amount is fully paid. -NewsLine with report from PNA

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