MIAA chief, assistant GM dismissed from service for abuse of authority, misconduct
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) chief Cesar Chiong and officer-in-charge and assistant general manager Irene Montalbo for grave abuse of authority and misconduct.
In a 21-page decision, the Ombudsman detailed that the dismissal was prompted by a complaint filed by anonymous MIAA officials for the alleged reassignment of more or less 285 MIAA employees without any basis.
According to the Ombudsman, Chiong was appointed as acting general manager and member of the board of directors of MIAA on July 19, 2022. He assumed the duties and responsibilities of these positions on July 20, 2022.
“Barely a month from Chiong’s assumption, he started the reassignment of more or less 285 MIA employees in less than a year. There were also MIA employees who were reassigned twice within a one-year period. Sworn statements gathered from the reassigned employees would reveal that they were neither informed of the reason for their reassignment nor did they have pending administrative complaints,” the decision read.
The complainants likewise bared that Chiong designated Montalbo as OIC despite an unsatisfactory rating in the 2020 Office Performance Commitment and Review of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1, the office which she headed.
“In view of the foregoing, complainant alleges that Chiong abused his authority or position when he indiscriminately reassigned MIA employees and designated Montalbo as OIC of the Office of the AGM for Finance and Administration notwithstanding her unsatisfactory rating,” the decision further detailed.
“On the other hand, Montalbo cannot deny her participation in the reassignment of MIAA employees because as the designated OIC of the Office of the AGM for Finance and Administration, it is her duty or function to advise the general manager in the formulation and administration of administrative matters, which include among others, the reassignment of MIAA employees,” it detailed.
Taking these into consideration, the Office of the Ombudsman said it found “substantial evidence” to hold Chiong and Montalbo liable for grave misconduct, grave abuse of authority and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
“This office finds Chiong and Montalbo guilty of grave misconduct, abuse of authority or oppression and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and imposes upon them the penalty of dismissal from the service with forfeiture of all their retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification to re-enter government service,” the decision reads.
Meanwhile, pursuant to Section 7 of the Administrative Order No. 17 of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman Memorandum Circular No. 01, the Department of Transportation was also instructed to immediately implement this decision and to promptly submit a compliance report regarding the incident.