Complaints filed vs DPWH regional director for alleged lavish lifestyle, tossing money in a party
MANILA, Philippines — A Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional director is facing various complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman for his alleged lavish lifestyle, including an incident where he was accused of tossing money during a party.
Quezon province councilor Arkie Manuel Yulde on Thursday filed both administrative and criminal complaints on Tuesday against DPWH Region 1 director Ronnel Tan after party guests said he threw money — about P2 to 3 million — for the people to fight over.
Yulde said this violated sections of Republic Act No. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees — specifically Section 4, which states that public officials and their families must live modest lives.
The party was supposedly celebrated by Tan and his wife, Quezon 4th District Rep. Helen Tan, at their residence in the district. At least two town mayors from Quezon were present, according to Yulde — Mayors Webster Lerargo of Gumaca and Ferdinand Mesa of Alabat.
“Due to his excitement, the respondent (Tan) shouted to the guests ‘pag agawan niyo na itong pera, then he ‘threw the cash into the air’ such that the guests will be fighting over picking up as much money as they can get,” Yulde said in one of his complaints.
“The mayors said some got one hundred thousand pesos. Others got two hundred thousand pesos,” he added.
Tan also faces grave misconduct, graft, and violation of R.A. 7160 or the Local Government Code complaint.
Yulde also claimed that Tan lives in an “exclusive and luxurious subdivision” in Quezon City, a 600 square meter property, which is way over what his salary can provide.
But aside from this, he also relayed that Tan asked several barangay officials not to respond to invitations from Quezon Province Gov. Danilo Suarez — with the DPWH official supposedly warning the barangay officials that they would be considered political opponents and would no longer receive allocations from Rep. Helen Tan.
The barangay captains were warned that if they attend such meetings with Governor Suarez, their barangays would no longer receive projects from his (Tan) wife, Congresswoman Helen Tan and that they could expect to have political opponents come barangay election.
“We urge President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to immediately fire Director Ronnel Tan of the DPWH for conduct unbecoming of a public official. At this time, when most of our fellow kababayans are suffering from economic hardships due to this pandemic, we find Director Tan highly insensitive for hosting a lavish party,” Yulde added. [ac]
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