Ouano’s admin case dropped
THADEO Ouano, former Mandaue City mayor, has one less burden to carry.
The Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas has dismissed administrative charges filed against him as “moot and academic” since he was elected to the Cebu Provincial Board in the May 2010 elections.
Administrative charges were dropped against Ouano in connection with alleged overpriced lampposts purchased and installed in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in 2007.
However, he still faces one criminal graft charge over the lampposts, a national project, with the Sandiganbayan.
“His subsequent reelection to office during the May 2010 elections operates as a condonation of his previous misconduct and has rendered the administrative charges against him moot and academic,” said antigraft investigators in a ruling dated Oct. 4, 2010.
Copies of the order were received by the parties only last July 5.
It said the penalty of dismissal was deemed implemented since Ouano was no longer in government service when the Ombudsman ruled on the case.
Ouano and several government officials were earlier found guilty of grave misconduct and supposed to be dismissed from the service.
In 2007, Ouano was slapped with a six-month preventive suspension that ran on till the election, which he lost. The lamppost scandal was believed to have contributed to his poll defeat.
The respondents contested the Ombudsman’s ruling.
The Visayas Ombudsman denied their pleading and ordered the six-month suspension of Rosalina Denque and Alfredo Sanchez—both of the Mandaue City Engineer’s Office—who were being found guilty of neglect of duty./Reporter ADOR VINCENT S. MAYOL
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