Ombudsman suspends Dalaguete mayor, 7 others over sunken fishing boat
The Office of the Ombudsman on Monday has announced the three-month suspension of the mayor of Dalaguete town in Cebu over the sinking of a fishing boat in 2014.
Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante and seven other local officials were found guilty of simple misconduct and neglect of duty for directly being responsible for the sinking of the fishing boat.
Aside from the mayor, municipal administrator Rydal Cisneros, Clito Pia of Dalaguete police, division head Almar Villahermosa, agricultural technician Juana Tangpos, Peter Bejarasco, municipal deputy fish wardens Felipe Calisang and Juan Millan were also suspended for three months.
The Ombudsman tasked the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to implement the suspension order.
The boat, owned by a certain Rusell and Jowleyn Heredia, was under the custody of the respondents when it was seized for violation of the Fisheries Code.
During the onslaught of Typhoon Queenie in November 2014, the boat sank despite complainants’ persistent pleas and requests to relocate the boat to a safer location.
“The record establishes respondents’ failure to preserve the vessel seized. Despite repeated requests to transfer the vessel to a safer location amidst the coming typhoon, the respondents have the complainants the run-around to avoid the responsibility of giving the clearance to move the vessel,” the Ombudsman said.
“Their failure to act on said requests constitutes negligence. In the present situation, respondents fell short of the reasonable diligence required of them, for failing to exercise due care and prudence in addressing the complainants’ reasonable request to transfer the vessel,” it added. /je
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