Ombudsman junks raps vs Echiverri | Inquirer News

Ombudsman junks raps vs Echiverri

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 01:35 AM March 10, 2012

He’s glad it’s all over.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has dismissed the charges against Caloocan City Mayor Enrico Echiverri and three other city officials for their alleged nonremittance of the city employees’ premium contributions to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

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Echiverri said he felt vindicated following the dismissal of the charges.

“Finally, the truth has come out regarding the GSIS issue. Throughout this ordeal, I’ve always held my head high because I knew in my heart that I did no wrong,” Echiverri said in an e-mail to the Inquirer Friday.

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In a March 6 resolution, Morales also dismissed the complaints filed against city treasurer Evelina Garma, city budget officer Jesusa Garcia and city accountant Edna Centeno, saying there was “no substantial evidence to hold respondents either administratively or criminally liable.”

She also ordered the lifting of the preventive suspension imposed on them.

Morales said the complainant, Vice Mayor Edgar Erice, had failed to prove that the respondents carried out the act “with manifest corruption” and “clear intent” to violate the law.

“Complainant bears the onus of proving that respondents’ questioned acts were attended with manifest corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established rule. This he failed to discharge,” she said.

Erice filed charges against the four city officials for violation of the GSIS Act, Sec. 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

In the resolution, the Ombudsman said Echiverri had “taken steps to ensure the prompt payment of the city’s current premium contributions and to update its remittances to the GSIS.”—With Niña C. Calleja

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TAGS: Caloocan, dismissed charges, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Local officials, Ombudsman, Philippines – Metro
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