Negros Occidental employee contests guv’s dismissal order
BACOLOD CITY — A former employee of the Negros Occidental provincial government is contesting Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson’s order dismissing him from the service over the disappearance of 789 bags of fertilizer valued at P2.3 million.
Agriculturist 1 Herminigildo Basilio asked the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in Quezon City on August 29 to overturn the decision of Lacson.
Basilio told the CSC that the findings against him for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and malversation of public funds are premised on erroneous factual allegations and are not supported with substantial evidence.
Basilio asked the CSC to order his immediate reinstatement and payment of back wages and other reliefs.
He denied that he was the one who received the 2,000 bags of fertilizers from the Department of Agriculture (DA), saying it wasn’t his job to keep and distribute these.
“Governor Lacson has not produced any evidence that I was stationed at the warehouse and in charge of the fertilizer,” he said.
“Simply put, the adverse findings for serious charges against me are all premised on erroneous facts to make me a scapegoat,” he also said.
“This situation is a clear injustice for any person to be charged with serious offenses and subsequently publicly maligned based on mere allegations,” he added.
Basilio likewise asked the CSC to determine the legality of his preventive suspension previously imposed by Lacson, and for speedy disposition of his case.
In a decision dated August. 8 but released to the media on August 18, Gov. Lacson dismissed Basilio for the missing 789 sacks of fertilizer from the provincial government’s Rice Processing Center (RPC) warehouse in Bago City.
The dismissal of Basilio from the service carried the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, barring from taking civil service examinations and forfeiture of retirement benefits.
The 789 bags of fertilizer belonging to the DA were discovered missing in October 2022.
“The respondent’s claim that he is not responsible for the safekeeping nor does he hold the key to the warehouse cannot be given credence,” the decision reads.
Based on the records of the case, Basilio signed a document that he received the 2,000 bags of fertilizer from the DA for distribution to local governments of Negros Occidental.
Basilio was the person in-charge of the RPC warehouse.
The fertilizers were found missing when representatives of Cauayan town, Negros Occidental could not withdraw the town’s share of fertilizers on October 18, 2022, because there was no more stock at the warehouse.
A subsequent inventory revealed that 789 bags of fertilizer valued at P2,367,000 went missing when Basilio was in charge of the warehouse and the key of the facility was entrusted to him.