Close  

Eastern Samar town mayor slams Ombudsman order to suspend him

By: - Correspondent / @joeygabietaINQ
/ 03:57 PM March 01, 2019

TACLOBAN CITY — Political harassment.

This was how Mayor Christopher Sheen Gonzales of Guiuan town, Eastern Samar, described the order of the Ombudsman to suspend him for the alleged irregularities in the repair of public facilities damaged due to Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s pure harassment and politically motivated. This issue always came out every election. But it’s not true because the local government of Guiuan has no disallowances from the Commission on Audit,” Gonzales said.

He said the issue first came out when he was first running for a third term in the 2016 elections.

Now, it came out again when he was running for congressman in the province’s lone district.

Gonzales claimed that the complaint against him was fabricated and he already submitted the lacking documents at the Ombudsman.

“There were no findings by the Ombudsman that there was overprice but just lack of documents which we already provided,” Gonzales said.

In an order dated Feb. 12, Ombudsman Samuel Martires ordered the six-month preventive suspension of Gonzales for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty.

The suspension stemmed from a complaint filed by Kiriath Jearn Andrie Tumanda and Avelino Balagbis Jr., both residents of Guiuan, who alleged that the Recovery Assistance on Yolanda, a fund downloaded to towns and cities hit by Yolanda from the Department of Interior and Local Government, was misused.

The town received P43 million intended for the repair of its municipal building and P13 million for its public market.

It also received P152.99 million to repair its 89 barangay halls.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the Ombudsman said its Field Investigation Bureau found no proof contractors, Pedro S. Labasbas Construction and EDG Americas Inc., submitted documents stating their technical, legal and financial competence to undertake the projects.

The Ombudsman said EDG Americas Inc., which bagged the contract for the repair of the public market and the barangay facilities, also deviated from the approved plans stated in the program of works, such as discrepancies in the construction materials used and the number of floors built.

Also suspended by the Ombudsman were municipal accountant Adrian Bernardo; municipal treasurer Felicisima Bernardo; bids and awards committee members Arsenio Salamida, Esperanza Cortin, Danilo Colandog, Gilberto Labicante, Ma. Nenita Ecleo, and Felipe Padual; and Zosimo Macabasag, BAC technical working group member.

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Christopher Sheen Gonzales, Eastern Samar, Guiuan, irregularities, Ombudsman, Supertyphoon Yolanda
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.