Ombudsman: Mactan-Cebu airport GM should remain suspended
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has reiterated that Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) General Manager Steve Dicdican should remain suspended, as reports supposedly showed that he is still reporting for work.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Office of the Ombudsman required the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its chief, Secretary Arthur Tugade, to report on the status of the implementation of Dicdican’s suspension order.
“The Office of the Ombudsman has required the office of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to submit the status of the implementation of the preventive suspension order issued against Steve Dicdican, General Manager of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority,” the office said.
“In a letter to Secretary Arthur Tugade, the Office of the Ombudsman mentioned that it has been receiving reports that respondent continues to report to office despite the order for his preventive suspension,” it added.
The Ombudsman also noted that suspension orders were served through e-mail to Dicdican — a lawyer by profession — adding that the beleaguered official should no longer wait for the formal serving of the documents. On the other hand, it was served to Tugade last December 17.
“A copy of the preventive suspension order was likewise served upon Atty. Dicdican thru his official email address in accordance with the Supreme Court 2019 Revised Rules of Procedure,” the Office of the Ombudsman claimed.
“As a lawyer, he should not wait that the order be officially served upon him by the DOTr Secretary because he is expected to observe compliance with lawful orders of duly constituted authorities,” it stressed.
Dicdican was placed on preventive suspension for six months without pay by the Ombudsman last December 17, due to various administrative complaints filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Preventive suspensions are issued to prevent incumbent officials from interfering in investigations performed by state prosecutors and other authorities.
Dicdican is facing charges for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service due to the P14.4 billion deal to rehabilitate and operate the said airport.
Dicdican is being blamed for the issuance of a 25-year concession agreement between the MCIAA and the consortium of local construction firm Megawide and Indian company GMR Infrastructure.
The NBI alleged that Dicdican and 14 others violated various anti-corruption and anti-dummy laws for allowing a foreign company to control the airport’s operations — which the general manager has denied.
The GMR-Megawide consortium is also looking to take part in the rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
However, the Manila International Airport Authority last December 15 revoked the original proponent status for the P109 billion plan, which Megawide submitted unsolicitedly.
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