MANILA, Philippines — Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the filing of one count of graft charge and four counts of Unlawful Appointment against Mayor Leonila Montero of Panglao, Bohol.
Montero was also found guilty of Simple Misconduct and was ordered suspended from office for three months.
In its findings, the Ombudsman found that in July 2013, Montero appointed four losing candidates in the 2013 elections as consultants earning P25,000.00 per month.
Records showed that Montero hired Noel Homarchuelos as municipal administrator/consultant for administrative services; Danilo Reyes as public information consultant; Apolinar Fudalan as Public Employment Service Office Coordinator/IT consultant; and Fernando Penales as infrastructure/engineering consultant.
The consultants were hired on a job order basis to serve the mayor without executing any contract of service or issuance of any appointment paper duly reviewed and approved by theSangguniang Bayan.
Upon investigation, the Ombudsman found that the contracts and daily time records of the four consultants were not available.
In its Annual Audit Report for 2013, the Commission on Audit determined that the “the payment of their services was effected even without their duly approved accomplishment reports and individual contracts in violation of Section 4(6) of the Government Auditing Code.”
Based on the Ombudsman’s ruling, “the Local Government Code provisions prohibit and disqualify Hormachuelos, Reyes, Fudalan and Penales within one year after such election to be appointed to any public office in the government.”
“Respondent in appointing them to vital positions in the municipality, certainly granted them unwarranted benefits and caused due injury to the government equivalent to the amount of the compensation they received during the time of their temporary disqualification,” stated Ombudsman Morales.-Jiann A. Padillo/Newsline.ph
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