Agusan Sur mayor, vice mayor, 4 local execs dismissed over land deal | Inquirer News

Agusan Sur mayor, vice mayor, 4 local execs dismissed over land deal

By: - Correspondent / @inqmindanao
/ 06:51 PM October 27, 2016
office of the ombudsman

Office of the Ombudsman. NOY MORCOSO/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

DAVAO CITY — The Ombudsman ordered dismissed from government service the mayor, vice mayor and several other officials of Trento town in Agusan del Sur after finding them “guilty of grave misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service” over a land acquisition deal in 2012.

The Ombudsman, in a decision made public on its website on October 19, also asked the Department of Interior and Local Governments to implement the dismissal order against Mayor Johnmark Billanes, Jr., who was reelected in May; former Sangguniang Bayan (municipal council) members Victoria Plaza
(now Trento vice mayor), Edwin Demegillo, Pedro Mordeno, and Leona Magno; and incumbent town councilor Ludy Andale within 10 days from October 19.

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The six former and current officials also face cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification for re-employment in the government service.

The dismissal of the officials were linked to a P1-million land deal that Mayor Billanes’ brother, Romeo, owned.

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The lot, which was in Barangay Poblacion in Trento, was supposed to be used for a proposed rice processing center.

In its decision, the Ombudsman said that the SB passed a resolution to borrow P1 million from the “2012 Appropriations for the Rehabilitation of the Farm-to-Market Road” to buy the lot.

But while it passed a resolution to borrow money from another fund, the Ombudsman said that the SB did not pass a resolution realigning the P1 million.

A realignment ordinance, it noted, was needed because the land acquisition “was for a different purpose from the original appropriation.”

The Ombudsman also indicted the six officials for a separate chare of graft, saying they gave “unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference” to Mayor Billanes’ brother “through manifest partiality or evident bad faith.”

“…Romeo’s property had already been identified for acquisition even prior to an appraisal of the land,” the Ombudsman said.  SFM

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TAGS: Agusan del Sur, conflict of interest, dismissal from service, Edwin Demegillo, Government Officials, grave misconduct, Johnmark Billanes Jr., land acquisition, Leona Magno, Ludy Andale, mayor, municipal councilors, Office of the Ombudsman, Pedro Mordeno, perpetual disqualification from government service, Romeo Billanes, Trento municipality, unwarranted benefits advantage or preference, vice mayor, Victoria Plaza
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