Ex-deputy ombudsman who asked aide to do house work found guilty of grave misconduct
A FORMER deputy ombudsman has been found guilty of grave misconduct for using his administrative aide as his houseboy.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Office of the Ombudsman said former Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao Humphrey Monteroso was liable for grave misconduct for asking his aide Emmanuel Arquellano to do domestic chores, such as feeding the animals and accompanying the family to the market during weekends.
“Not only were Monteroso’s actions willful and intentional, these were clearly illegal, wrongful and improper, especially considering that the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao was paying for Arquellano’s salary,” the statement read.
Citing Arquellano’s affidavit, the Ombudsman said Monteroso “unfairly took advantage” of his aide when the former deputy ombudsman made Arquellano perform extra work during his stint as a government employee, without due compensation.
Arquellano also said his former boss also ordered him to open bank accounts under his name, with the passbook and ATM card turned over to Monteroso.
“Arquellano testified that several transactions were undertaken using these bank accounts and he withdrew significant sums totaling P1,250,000.00 and remitted the money to Monteroso,” the Ombudsman said.
The Ombudsman found the transactions under Arquellano’s name as “suspicious,” which prompted the body to tap the Anti-Money Laundering Council to probe the transaction and to determine Montero’s liability.
Monteroso denied the allegations, but the Ombudsman found his denial “as inherently weak because it is self-serving and unsubstantiated by clear and convincing evidence.”
Since Montero’s stint as deputy ombudsman already expired in December 2013, he was fined an amount equivalent to six months’ salary in exchange of the penalty of dismissal from service.
In a separate decision, Monteroso was also found guilty of simple neglect of duty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. This was in connection to his failure to act on a criminal case pending in his office for four years.
“He was also faulted for deliberately failing to reply to complainant’s letters requesting for follow-up and to act on several indorsements and directives to act on the case,” the Ombudsman said.
“[Monteroso’s] continued non-compliance with the directive appears to spring from his lackadaisical attitude towards said case and of this Office’s role in the speedy and efficient administration of justice,” the statement added.
Monteroso was sanctioned with another fine equivalent to six months’ salary for the said violations.
Prior to being promoted to deputy ombudsman in 2006, Monteroso was a member of the prosecution panel in the government’s criminal cases against former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. AC
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