Bacolod exec sacked over alleged irregularities in gov’t fuel use
BACOLOD CITY — A city government official was dismissed from service for allegedly availing himself of gasoline from the city for an unserviceable bulldozer nine times in October 2022.
Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez found Ramel Palalon, head of the city’s Department of Public Services (DPS), liable for nine counts of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty upon the recommendation of the City Legal Officer (CLO).
DPS driver Darwin Cardones was also found guilty of the same offenses, and was ordered suspended for six months.
CLO Romeo Carlos Ting Jr. on Tuesday, May 2, said Cardones was found to have signed the trip tickets of the bulldozer that he did not use.
“The driver was made to sign the trip tickets by his boss,” Ting said.
Cardones, he said, filed a motion for reconsideration for a lesser penalty so his suspension had not been enforced yet.
The Inquirer tried but failed to reach Palalon through the phone on Wednesday. A text message sent to him was also left unanswered.
The Local Government Code of 1991 empowers the local chief executive to impose a penalty on erring subordinate officials and employees under their jurisdiction.
Palalon claimed that the gasoline was used for a bulldozer of IPM-Construction and Development Corp., the garbage hauler of Bacolod City, for road clearing operations, the investigation by the CLO showed.
However, an inquiry by the CLO showed that IPM did not use the city government gasoline for its bulldozer.
Palalon’ dismissal from service, which was implemented on April 27, may be appealed before the Civil Service Commission.
Ting said Palalon could no longer be allowed to work in the city government.
Benitez named Ma. Fe Trespuentes as the DPS officer-in-charge in November last year after Palalon was preventively suspended amid the CLO investigation.