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For favoring brod in deal, Leyte ex-mayor banned from gov’t

/ 10:56 PM April 27, 2017
Office of the Ombudsman

Office of the Ombudsman

MANILA — The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal from government service, of the former mayor of Sta. Fe town in Leyte, for incurring an “unnecessary and improper” rent expense of P16,000 at a lodge owned by his brother.

Melchor Quemado Sr., now a Sangguniang Bayan member who got the most number of votes in the town’s elections in 2016, was found guilty of the administrative offense of grave misconduct. Besides the penalty of dismissal, he was also perpetually banned from public office and his benefits and civil service eligibility were revoked.

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According to a statement by the Ombudsman media bureau on Thursday, Quemado gave “unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference” to his brother Anastacio by renting office space at the Hayward Travelodge for consultants conducting a feasibility study in December 2005.

The transaction did not go through public bidding, and Hayward did not even have a business permit, the Ombudsman found. The check payment for two months’ rent was also made directly to Anastacio and not the establishment.

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The Ombudsman also deemed the transaction irregular because there was still available office space at the municipal hall, and Hayward was located 21 kilometers away from the town.

Meanwhile, the Ombudsman also fired another Eastern Visayas official, Samar provincial accountant Romeo Reales, for falsifying the payroll of 15 job order employees in 2005, at the cost of P140,000. At the time, Reales was the officer-in-charge provincial administrator.

In a separate statement on Thursday, the Ombudsman media bureau said Reales was meted the administrative sanction for serious dishonesty. In case of separation from the government, the penalty is convertible
to a fine equivalent to one year’s salary.

The Ombudsman found the signatures of the job order employees named in the payroll were made by only one person. “The irregularities in these documents are so glaring to be ignored by respondent [Reales],” the
statement quoted.

Reales invoked good faith in his defense, citing that the daily time records and payrolls passed through several departments before their release.

However, the Ombudsman stressed that “it is presumed that Reales had control over these documents being the OIC-Provincial Administrator authorized to sign/approve payrolls,” adding that he had signed the documents despite the lack of evidence of any services rendered.  SFM

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TAGS: administrative proceedings, conflict of interest, disciplinary action, dismissal from government, falsification of public documents, favoring a relative in a government contract, forfeiture of government benefits, former mayor, government contract without public bidding, grave misconduct, Hayward Travelodge, Leyte, Local authorities, Local Governments, Local officials, Melchor Quemado Sr., Office of the Ombudsman, perpetual ban from public office, provincial accountant, revocation of civil service eligibility, Romeo Reales, Samar, serious dishonesty, Sta. Fe municipality
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