2 QC dads suspended over ‘ghost employees’
Quezon City Councilors Roderick Paulate and Francisco Calalay Jr. were ordered suspended for six months without pay after graft investigators uncovered a paper trail of allegedly fictitious job orders that put almost 60 “ghost employees” on City Hall’s payroll.
The Field Investigation Office (FIO) of the Office of the Ombudsman issued the order as it lodged criminal complaints for graft and malversation of public funds against Paulate and Calalay.
In a statement on Wednesday, the antigraft body said the FIO had also filed administrative cases against the two officials for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and falsification of official documents.
The complaints were elevated to the Office of the Ombudsman, which would conduct a preliminary investigation.
Also suspended and named in the complaints were the councilors’ liaison officers, Flordeliza Alvarez and Vicente Bajamunde.
In a fact-finding probe which acted on a complaint from Jimmy Lee Davis, the FIO found that some of the personnel identified in job orders from the offices of Paulate and Calalay were fictitious.
Davis, whom the statement simply described as a “whistle-blower” and “QC insider,” was assisted by former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. in the pursuing the complaint.
The FIO alleged that from July to November 2010, Paulate maintained 30 ghost employees, while Calalay had 29 ghost employees from January to November 2010.
These supposedly nonexistent employees were paid anywhere between P2,500 and P5,000 per month. The FIO said Paulate had released P1.12 million in salaries while Calalay had disbursed P2.175 million.
The disbursement of the salaries was done through the submission of bogus personal data sheets and payrolls, it added.
The alleged ghost employees had no birth records in the National Statistics Office, were not registered as voters in Quezon City, and had not secured clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation.
They were also not known in the barangays where they allegedly live, and, in some instances, their listed addresses were also found to be bogus, the FIO said.
Paulate, who is also a movie actor, is on his first term as councilor of Quezon City’s 2nd District. He chairs the committee on cultural and tourism affairs.
Calalay, who is from the first district, is on his third term as councilor and chairs the committee on social services.
The two officials were out of their respective offices, according to their staff, when the Inquirer tried to reach them for comment. Melvin Medico, who worked for Paulate, said his office has yet to be formally informed of the suspension order. With a report from Nancy Carvajal
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