Dismissal of admin raps vs Rizal execs affirmed
The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the Office of the Ombudsman’s appeal on its September decision reversing the grave misconduct ruling against seven former procurement officials of Rizal province over the 2004 fertilizer fund scam.
In an eight-page resolution dated Dec. 28, the appellate court’s Fourth Division said the Task Force Abono of the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office did not raise new issues to warrant the reversal of its Sept. 2 decision.
Cleared of administrative liability were former bids and awards committee (BAC) members: Eugene Durusan, Eduardo Torres, Cecilia Almajose, Romulo Arcilla Jr., Victorina Olea, Virgilio Esguerra, and Danilo Rumbawa.
“The evidence holding petitioners liable for grave misconduct is weak. A public officer shall be liable for grave misconduct only when the elements of corruption, clear intent to violate the law or flagrant disregard of established rule are manifest,” Justice Noel G. Tijam said in the resolution.
The CA resolution was recently released by the camp of former Gov. Casimiro Ynares Jr. after state prosecutors last week filed criminal graft charges against him and the BAC members at the Sandiganbayan over the same controversy.
In June 2014, the Ombudsman found the BAC officials guilty in the separate administrative case for dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. They were ordered dismissed and banned from public office.
This was in connection with the procurement without public bidding of P3.597-million worth of allegedly overpriced fertilizers.
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